Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday driveway party

We have great neighbours. And a great neighbourly tradition: Driveway parties. It usually happens when one person is out front doing some yardwork. Then another neighbour will come over and shoot the breeze. Eventually he'll bring a beer out. Soon, a few more neighbours arrive. The beer continues to flow. People arrive with folding camp chairs and before you know it, there are a dozen neighbours settled in the driveway with assorted kids running around. Food starts to appear from various houses and occasionally the BBQ is fired up.

Today, as a driveway party started to materialise, we decided to move to the back yard of the house next door for a farewell. The house next door was on a huge triple lot and it had recently been sold to developers who were splitting it into 3 separate sections and building 2 new houses. We had been sad to see the old neighbours go, and we were even sadder to see the huge grassy play area be eliminated. A farewell to the expanse of land was the perfect excuse for today's party.

We took all our camp chairs and carried heaps of food to the empty yard. Margaret brought yummy salmoncakes in honour of Good Friday. Bruce brought his portable grill. The boys started a cricket game in the grass.
John brought some golf clubs and the testosterone took over as all the men whacked golf balls across the gully. John's 12-year old son was a pretty good golfer, too and even the 4-year-old had a good swing as long as he remembered he was left-handed. Bruce swung so hard that it broke the club and he seemed pretty pleased with himself.

In the middle of this idyllic scene, Brenden leaned over to me to say how grateful he is to have this close-knit neighbourhood group. He grew up in a dodgier neighbourhood, lacking the sense of comfort and comraderie that exudes from our driveway parties. All our neighbours are such good people. Especially Brenden. It brought tears to my eyes.