Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Days- A Few Final Thoughts

printable via Honeybear Lane

I wanted to take a minute to link-up with Life Rearranged and Joy's Hope and post a quick recap of my experience with the Happy Days Project.

I shared before about how excited I get about these kinds of challenges, but the hard part is always in the doing, and this time was no different.

Day 1 I was feeling really good.  I planned ahead and got the filling for my pumpkin muffins in the freezer while I was in the middle of making chicken and dumplings for dinner.  Time started speeding up, but I put the muffins in the oven just as we were sitting down to dinner.  The husband came home late from work, always a curveball, but I was still determined to follow through and sent him and the big kids out to deliver our treats to a few neighbors when the kids should have been going to bed.  The highlight of the whole experience was probably the discussion we shared while the husband was eating his dinner before heading out the door.  We talked about all of the things our neighbors do for us and why it's important for us to serve them.

When we moved into our home 6 years ago, it was quickly apparent that we would have a very different experience than we'd planned on.  We thought our quiet cul-de-sac seemed charming, and I imagined the kids playing with friends and the neighborhood gatherings we were sure to enjoy with other families.  As we began meeting our neighbors, we noticed the details that we couldn't have planned for- there were no kids.  The majority of our neighbors had bought their home as the one they wanted to grow old in- their retirement home for lack of a better term.  There are two kids next door, but one is going away to college next year, and the other will be entering high school.  They're not exactly playmates.  Although it's been difficult to miss the realization of those dreams for our home of a neighborhood full of kids, there have been great blessings from these neighbors in such a different season of life.

They drag our garbage cans back up our driveway when they know I'm sick and pregnant. They are patient with our slow progress in our yard, and offer advice as well as physical help.  Two of the neighbors showed up over the summer with tape measures and helped engineer and construct a roof for our deck.  They are patient and kind to our kids as they stop on their many bike rides around the circle to ask about one neighbor's chickens or to see the horses that back up to another neighbor's fence or to ask about whatever fascinating project they might be in the middle of.  They share their produce from their abundant and beautiful gardens.  They are generous with their time and talents in the ways it's hard to be with a busy home full of young children.

I was glad to have a chance to share these feelings for our neighbors with my kids.  They need to know that although it's a bummer to not have neighbors to play with, we are still very blessed to have good neighbors.

Day 2 of the project left notes still waiting to be sent/delivered, and the rest of the days quickly got away from me, although the challenges have continued to play in my mind with plans to carry them out eventually.  

Although I could look at the project as a fail considering I didn't complete every task, I count it as a great success.  Any time I can share valuable lessons with my kids and help them think of others, I really can't ask for more.  I'm hoping we can take the long weekend and do a little more planning for some service this season.  There are few things I'd rather do with our family this weekend, especially while counting our blessings.

Happy Tuesday!
I'm busy today making preparations for Thanksgiving round 1 tomorrow and round 2 on Thursday.  Hope you're enjoying the family and friends and food this week.  Be back soon.


The Every Day Extraordinary said...

Congrats on what you did accomplish. Every act of kindness is a gift: ) Happy Thanksgiving!!

The Every Day Extraordinary said...

Congrats on what you did accomplish. Every act of kindness is a gift: ) Happy Thanksgiving!!