Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thoughts And Views From My Afternoon Walk In Tralee

Yesterday, after finishing my Sons of Anarchy marathon, I thought it would be nice to take a stroll through the neighborhood.

The walk started as a way to get the blood circulating after a morning of laziness, but then it quickly turned into a photo opportunity.

Instead of rushing through the walk, I was able to better explore the neighborhood while also enjoying family time. Below, you will find a few shots from our afternoon walk.

If you cannot see the photo gallery, click here.

While strolling through the neighborhood, I learned a few things:

We have a walking trail
Well, kinda. Around the first pond, the one nearest our gym, there is a trail along the backside. If one follows the trail all the way around, it comes out in between the first and second pond. My first thought was how pleasant a stroll would be if I took this more often.

Unfortunately, the "trail" ends there. Once you come out of the backside of the pond, there is nothing established on the road side.

Nevertheless, I learned that we have a trail on the backside of the pond.

Our neighbors want to socialize
It was while walking on Snowberry Lane that I ran into a few neighbors working on their Christmas decorations. Not sure why we stopped initially, but Melissa and Taylor Adkins are really nice people that feel like we do about socializing with neighbors.

Truth be told, I know very few people in my neighborhood. Having lived in my home for almost 5 years, my neighbors are total strangers to me. I may recognize a few faces and will wave when there's eye contact, but that's it.

In an effort to change that, I created an email list on Yahoo, helped grow the Facebook group, and currently inviting neighbors to a private community called Nextdoor Tralee.

My plan for these online resources is to help facilitate conversations that will lead to the development of real world events between neighbors. While we do have a club house, it's not the most meeting ready facility. Getting neighbors together may become even more challenging as the weather grows colder.

To my surprise, I learned that we are not the only ones who want to get out and engage with our neighbors. There are others who are just looking for the opportunity to get out and mingle.

While talking with Melissa and Taylor, it dawned on me that a Christmas Decoration Contest might get people into the spirit and out of their homes. Rachael Mullan agreed.

Someone has to create the opportunity, why not YOU?
All this talk about having an opportunity to meet neighbors got me thinking. Out of the four+ years I've lived here, there has been a few wonderful get together ideas. There was the summer cookout (thanks, Vanessa Lopez), community yard sale (thanks, Rachael Mullan), the Easter celebration (thanks, Denise Okon), and the BBQ by the pool (thanks, Keith).

Moving forward, what will it take to get our neighbors out of the house and more engaged with one another?  I believe the answer rests with us and the events we create. The only problem is that we seem to be waiting on others to organize something. Why not YOU (ok, that includes me, too!)?

If you have an idea, why not organize it and make it happen? Personally, I believe our neighborhood is starving for things to do and YOUR next idea may be perfect. So, like Nike says, "Just do it!"

So, as I prepare to end this personal reflection, let me ask you a few questions? What types of events would you like to see happen in your neighborhood? Have you ever experienced a young neighborhood like ours, if so did you do to make it come to life? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

Until next time...


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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