Last night we went over to our next-door neighbors' for a barbecue. It was a classic neighborhood scene, out of a commercial for lawn furniture: us grownups lolling on the back deck with our wine while the Mermaid Girl and their three-year-old played in the sandbox and rolled on the lawn and occasionally wandered over to beg for a cookie.
Our neighbor's husband was out working late, so she and the Renaissance Woman and I had a lovely time talking for hours about shoes, and real-estate prices, and '70's school dress codes and children's television and school pictures. It turned out that our neighbor had a pair of shoes that she loved but that have never fit her right, and so did I, and she ran into her house to get hers and RW ran next door to get mine, and lo and behold! we fit each others' shoes perfectly! So we swapped.
We really like these neighbors. It's been fun to see their daughter grow into the chatty individual that she is. Last year we ended up with a fairly regular summer evening ritual where they'd wander over after dinner and sit on the porch with us and eat popsicles on their way for a pre-bedtime walk; sometimes they'd just sweep MG up on the walk with them, and RW and I would have a blessed twenty minutes on our own.
In the winter, we sometimes don't even see them for months at a time. But when the days get long like this, we come out of hibernation. Plus, we really do borrow baking supplies--never actually a cup of sugar, I don't think, but eggs and flour and cupcake tins.
I hope we have neighbors like them where we end up.