Won't You Be My Neighbor?

By Laura Kinsell-Baer | 3 Comments

For kind of the first time in my life, I have neighbors. And I like it. And sometimes, I can’t stop thinking about it.

No, I didn’t grow up on a farm. But I did grow up slightly outside of town (Champaign, IL). And then I went to college, and had short-term temporary neighbors. And then I moved to St. Louis and lived in two different neighborhoods before Shaw. I loved them both, but knowing that I was renting and temporary, I didn’t put much effort into really establishing a community there. And now I’m here and I can’t stop thinking about the opportunity and possibility of living near other people. And here are some thoughts in no particular order that bounce around my brain some days:

NeighborGoods has a great idea – sharing resources between neighbors. Why should every home own their own ladder? How often do you really use a ladder? Let’s share things. Even if not on that website, some people use ShawTalk for this purpose, right? I like this idea of not everyone buying everything. That’s silly.

– Do you like to walk? I think walking is generally a great thing. Would anyone be interested in getting together and walking around the neighborhood? It’s a personal goal of mine to walk the neighborhood, it’d be great for your health, and can only improve the security in Shaw (in fact, the security committee and I are in cahoots, you heard it here first). Leave a comment if you’re interested.

– I babysat for a family down the street this week. How easy/convenient is that? I don’t have kids yet so I am still a little naive about childcare, but do people set up babysitting exchanges much? I would imagine folks who are retired would be perfect candidates for caring for kiddos. Just as the young folks may be good at home repairs or running errands. Surely there are easy ways to barter/trade services among neighbors. Have you tried that with anything?

– I am also apartment and pet-sitting for another friend and neighbor right now. Does everyone have someone who would water their plants and grab their mail and whatnot? If not, want one? Surely there’s an easy way to make sure you have someone who could (on a walk) keep an eye out. How would we go about setting this up?

I know I’m more full of questions than answers, but hey, blogs aren’t supposed to have all the answers. But I bet between all of us Shaw residents, we can figure it out. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Emma Klues

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Dmitri Kabargin says

Great ideas Emma!!! We do this we some of our neighbors and I think that what makes Shaw a great place to live!

Stephanie H. says

Count me in for the walking group Emma!

Becky Stear says

I would love to walk with your group sometime. E-mail me at stearfam@juno.com