I know everyone's starting to contemplate all the gourds and 10-foot skeletons they need to buy for October, but before you move on to Halloween season, consider this important holiday: Tomorrow, September 28, is National Good Neighbor Day. It's a real thing, and it's happening. Get ready, friends.

Recently I had a conversation with David Burton, who works for Missouri Extension and coordinates the state's concerted efforts to celebrate National Good Neighbor Day, and he called his efforts at neighboring "the ministry of being available." That hit me so hard, in a season where I haven't had a conversation with my 95-year-old next-door neighbor June for months because of dumb stuff like having a full-time job. "You have to be intentional," David said. "You have to make choices."

He told me a story about the grumpy neighbor who scolded David's wife when their dog peed on the telephone pole in his yard. David's wife had just been diagnosed with cancer, and when she came back to the house crying David was livid. But he fought the urge to chew out the neighbor and instead asked to have coffee with him. They talked for three hours, during which David learned his grumpy neighbor was a four-time Purple Heart recipient in Vietnam, a trout fisherman, and an all-around amazing guy. "I mean, it took a little bit of my Saturday, true, but it has paid long dividends over many years since I had that initial conversation," David said. "And it's given me a real appreciation for him and for my other neighbors as well."

Steal an idea for National Good Neighbor Day from David's Engaged Neighbor Newsletter or his list of 100 acts of kindness). I'm going to go visit June.
Shameless self-promotion portion of the newsletter: I've had so many good podcast conversations lately: Art of Manliness, That's Helpful with Ed Stott (she's a Brit living in Australia!), How to Be a Better PersonKristen Manieri, Best of Both Worlds with Laura Vanderkam. Take a listen! Next month, I'm heading to San Antonio for the Texas Municipal League conference and to North Carolina for the NC BikeWalk Summit. Let me know if you'll be there.
7 items of interest
  1. Make friends like kids do.
  2. Have you seen trauma-informed placemaking up close? What do you think?
  3. "We walked about five blocks down NW 23rd, and every time a new building came into view I lost my mind a little bit more." How a digital nomad chose where to live
  4. And for good measure, how a retiree chose where to live. "Walking home one recent evening from my brewery run club, I realized how much lighter life feels these days."
  5. There's so much to love about Wisconsin. And West Virginia too.
  6. The website I wish I'd included in my new book. I'm thinking about climate resilience as a location strategy factor more and more. (Here's another good moving tool in case you need it.)
  7. The upsides of city living.
xoxo, Melody
P.S.—As always, random bonus material for reading this far: Everyone has two wolves inside them. Some really good guidelines for life. This made me laugh so hard. Preparing for October viewing. KermitcoreThis book has it all: British people, irascible elderly ladies, toast. I want this so bad and it's only $199,000! Were you also born in 1976? The case for slow work. Would you get rid of your lawn? I don't regret hopping on this bandwagon. My new bucket list. Can't believe I know this lady. I've seen this so many times and I never stop loving it.
Copyright © 2022 Melody Warnick, All rights reserved.

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Melody Warnick · 1006 Kentwood Dr · Blacksburg, VA 24060 · USA

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