As I've mentioned, we had our neighborhood picnic last Saturday to help our little community get to know each other. The next day, I took Kevin to a barbecue at a coworker's house and left Andy at home to relax by himself. While trying to do that, one of the neighbors came over to talk about a zoning issue that she was trying to fight. She stayed for 30 minutes moving the conversation to the "appalling" state of some of the houses on the other end of the street. We have no idea what she is talking about but we had heard previously from another neighbor about her saying such things in the past as well.
Last night when we came home, 2 families of neighbors were talking in one of their front lawns. We've never seen these 2 families talk together before the party. They may have, but we didn't see it. Last night, we saw it. When I went to get the mail, I met one of those families who said that Bill up the street was finding people to take their food because their freezer had gone belly-up that day. I also had a phone message from Bill's wife saying that she had a bit of an emergency and asking if I could call her. I called back and left a message but I assume the problem was their freezer. Either way, I would have never gotten that call in the past because nobody knew our names or phone number.
While this is all a bit tiring (trying to rest away from people and they find you, having to wave and be neighborly when you're exhausted from a day trip, etc.) this is also pretty cool - and it is what we asked for.