On our drive through the neighborhood, a smiling man approached our car.  He was waving us down, waving us over, waving, waving.

I think he wanted to talk to us.

I put down the window, and he started talking.  “I’m the neighborhood ambassador!  Let me tell you about that house that’s for sale – the owner is a general contractor, so everything inside is top-notch.  They’ve taken excellent care of it, and the inside is immaculate.  Beautiful, beautiful home.  We are a close-knit neighborhood – we watch out for each other and all of the children.  Plenty of room to ride bikes, plenty of new friends, really, you couldn’t choose a better neighborhood.  What else can I tell you about it?”

“Well, I’d like to tell you that I bought it yesterday.”

He broke into a gracious, genuine smile.  “Well, welcome to the neighborhood!”

He pointed out his home, and he introduced me to another neighbor who was out washing his car in the driveway.  He told me, “We’ve lived here for nineteen years, watched every house go up, watched every family move in and move out.  We’re so glad you’re joining us.  So it’s you and your two sons?”

“Yes, I’m a widow, actually.  So for now, it’s just the three of us.”

He touched my arm.  “You couldn’t live in a safer place.  We will take care of you and those boys.  I promise.”

“Oh, and I know every floor plan in the neighborhood.  I’m the fixit guy.  If something breaks, you call me.  We’ll take care of you.  I promise.”

I foresee block parties

and trick or treats

and emergency contact numbers

and neighborhood watch

and new friends

and peace to close my eyes and rest.

How can you go wrong in a neighborhood with an ambassador and a welcoming committee?

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