When my partner and I built our house, I worked with an architect to develop the kitchen that I had long wanted: three ovens, large cooktop, and a huge island on which to prepare my creations. Not that I am a great chef, but having room to work while enjoying an expansive view of our back yard park, and space for a table for four were also requirements of our design.
I bought an old farm which was slated for development from the parents of a high-school classmate. I won the bid to buy the farm since I promised to build low-density, single family homes, instead of what could have been: rows and rows of townhouses.
Since our house was completed first, we welcomed our new neighbors as the rest of the small neighborhood built out by bringing them a baked item of some sort — a cake, a pie, or cookies. Then as we incorporated our Homeowners Association, I was elected President, and my partner and I continued to share joy with our neighbors by bringing each one a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread at Christmas. I love to do it.
So here I am, with Christmas Carols playing in the background, singing off-key and baking away, preparing something home-made for my neighbors, our friends. We are so blessed to share our neighborhood with people who have a rich diversity of backgrounds, and in a community with a casual and mature kind of tolerance.
Life is short: show those you love that you love them!