Not really, that's only Bloc Party singing about hunting for witches. But hey, we are having a Block Party this Saturday.
For the past three years, we've closed our street down for a few hours on a Saturday at the end of June, collected five bucks per family and had a barbecue, with the north side of the street bringing salads and the south side bringing desserts. It's pretty fun, I get to see people I haven't talked to since hitting them up for Kidney Foundation donations in March, and aside from baking something fattening to offer, I don't need to cook supper.
I don't really know my neighbours as well as I should. Back in London, we were really tight with our neighbours; we were all around the same age, started having kids at the same time, and we lived in houses with big front porches from where you could see everyone coming and going. It's different here. We arrived in December and didn't really meet anyone until spring. And the houses all had rinky-dink little front stoops. We were one of the first families on the street to add a big front porch, and since then a lot more people have done so, so there is more interaction.
But by now, we are part of the invisible generation on our street. There are the old-timers who have been here since they wrastled this community out of the bald-assed prairie, there are the young families who amongst them have a total of about 75 pre-school kids who all play together, and there are us. I'm not complaining; I love seeing all those kids and moms gathered together in one of the front yards when I get home from work, and love to hear the dads calling to each other as they arrive home; it's the sense of community that I left behind me in London, Ontario. But I am only on the periphery.
Still though, it will be nice come Saturday to yack with the others and to solidify the community spirit a bit more.
But I haven't told you about the best part of the annual block party! It's the Garbage Exchange!
A few hours before the start of the barbeque, we all put stuff we don't want anymore on our front lawns, and people wander up and down the street and help themselves to whatever catches their fancy. Gratis. And whatever is left over, gets picked up by a charity.
It's great, and this year I vow that I am actually going to open those boxes that we never did unpack after our move here nine years ago. I have a feeling we don't need whatever is in them.