This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Dreyer’s/Edy’s SlowChurned Neighborhood Salute
I live in the best neighborhood ever. I’ve lived here for eleven years and what is sad is that I didn’t even know how great it was until I quit my corporate job five years ago. I live five easily-walkable blocks from the beach and I never ever went! How sad is that?
I’d leave for work early in the morning, spend all day in an air-conditioned building with a big window overlooking an ugly asphalt parking lot and then come home long after sunset. The weekends were filled with visits to the laundromat and grocery store. If I saw the beach it was for a few minutes on my drive home as I descended the hill to my house.
That view was amazing and it still is but it was pathetic that that was all I got out of my neighborhood. I might as well have lived in an apartment in the city with a screen-saver of the beach for all the enjoyment I got out of it.
Then I quit my job to become a freelance designer and my entire life changed. It’s the best decision I ever made. I started taking walks early in the morning just to get in better shape and help me stay on schedule. It’s tricky being your own boss. My days needed structure and a walk on the beach every morning seemed like the best way to start the day. I walked every day on the beach. But it wasn’t just the beach that I got acquainted with. I started making friends too.
There’s the man with the scruffy dog who carries his own leash and jumps in and out of the waves with ease. I don’t know the man’s name but his dog’s name is Ralph. I’ve said hello a thousand times to the three super-fit elderly women who run together in their matching day-glo orange shorts. I met “Biker Bob” who rides his beach cruiser everywhere. Everyone knows him.
I met my really good friend Deborah, the artist who paints giant canvases of leaves and palm fronds by dripping water-color paint slowly down them from the top. I met Leelee the lady at the dry cleaner and Maria who works at the dog groomer but walks up and down Cardiac Hill with me every day. Franco waves at me from his counter at the little Italian restaurant and everyone knows me at the post office. I love my little neighborhood and it loves me back.
It’s funny how so many of my neighbors come and go and never see me though. They work all day like I used to. While they are gone, their gardeners come and blast the sidewalks with loud leaf blowers. I know their gardeners well because I’ve yelled at them so many times for making so much noise. I keep telling myself I need to meet my neighbors who work all day and have a chat about those leaf blowers but it never happens. They’re busy. Everyone is busy.
I’m just so happy that I’m busy here instead of in the next town over with a three-hour commute through horrendous traffic. I live every day here by the beach making the most of it. There’s something special about working and living in the same neighborhood. I know how lucky I am now.
I’m proud of my small town and it’s bustling little downtown. Sure there are snobs who drive big Hummers and look down their noses at me because I’m just a lowly renter living behind a restaurant. I don’t own a three-story McMansion overlooking the ocean. But I also don’t have to work every minute of my life in an office to pay for it. I don’t have to take money from a trust fund with strings attached either. It’s the internet that has brought me this new life by the beach. I can work anywhere I have wifi and that is a beautiful thing.
When Dreyer’s (as it’s called on the west coast and Texas; it’s Edy’s on the east coast) approached me to write about my neighborhood and talk about ice cream, I jumped at the chance. I love my neighborhood. I don’t think I’ve ever had an ice cream social with my neighbors but why not? I could walk a cone down to Leelee at the dry cleaners or invite Biker Bob and Deborah over for a bbq on my patio and maybe some peach ice cream for dessert. That’s my favorite, by the way.
That’s what I love about summer. The days are long and there are evenings to be enjoyed. There’s time after dinner for chats and dessert. We don’t have to hide away in our living rooms watching tv. We can watch the sunset together and toast the good life. Maybe I’ll even get up the nerve to invite my working neighbors over to discuss those leaf blowers!
You can join me in a salute to your neighborhood too. I know you might not have the beach but there are good times to be had no matter where you live. How cool would it be to win a doorstep delivery of Dreyer’s® Slow Churned® Light ice cream? They are having a contest right now on their website: www.SlowChurned.com where you can nominate your neighborhood and win all of the fixings (cups, bowls, scoops, etc….and of course, ice cream) to host a summer block party for up to 100 guests!!! That would be one crazy fun party, I think.
But that’s not all! I have ten coupons for a free carton of ice cream. Tell me your silliest neighbor story (if you can keep it to three sentences that would be awesome) in the comments and I will award some FREE ice cream ($7 value!) to the best stories.