The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

Daily Prompt: Stop and Smell Whatever You Want

My neighbor is out on her porch, reading the morning paper in her pajamas, robe, and fuzzy slippers, drinking a steaming cup of something. I know that because I am sitting on my porch, reading my morning emails on my tablet in approximately the same attire. We wave at one another as we do every morning and engage in some brief conversation about the weather, our kids, and the pets. One of the other neighbors is out for a walk and stops on the sidewalk, half-way between our two pajama'd houses to join in the conversation before moving along to go to the corner store; he asks if either of us want anything and we both ask him to wait while we go in for money and short shopping lists. I ask for a chocolate milk, and she asks for some cream for her coffee. We hand over our lists, a couple of dollars, and off he goes, trailed by mutual thank-you's. The two of us look up as her lawn service and my cleaning service arrive at the same time.

Today's Daily Prompt asks us to consider the elements of our ideal community:

What does your ideal community look like? How is it organized, and how is community life structured? What values does the community share?

My ideal community would be a mix of the place where we used to live in NJ and where we now live; we used to live in a small town where everyone knew pretty much everyone's kids, neighbors sat out on the porch and talked to one another in the street in the evenings, and we could walk to the corner store for basic stuff like a candy bar. Where we live now is in Southern California, where the nearest store is almost a mile away and because everyone tends to commute to work there is no energy left for neighborhood chit-chat. I'd like to know my neighbors a bit more and while my Christopher in particular has tried to reach out and have an "open-door" policy, it is tough. We've lived here for six years and it hasn't changed much. I think we have a lot of the same values, like wanting a safe and quite place for our families, wanting to keep up our properties so they maintain (read: increase, since after the economic troubles of 2009 our values are way down...) value, and so on. However, the prompt asked for ideal, so for me, ideal would be the neighborhood in which my house was fully paid-for and I could work from home and still afford utilities, property taxes, food, and health insurance. Yeah. 

Write 4 Ten: A Man's Walk

Who Am I