By: Kelly Smith, Marketing Director
On Thursday night, the dark clouds to the West threatened to disrupt the 1st Block Party in Annafeld. We switched gears to bring the party indoors (just in case) and set up in the garage of the model home instead. Our Contracts and Closing Coordinator, Sara, manned the grill cooking up dozens of burgers, brats, and hot dogs. Shane and Taylor bought the food and supplies, and I helped set up. The sales team (known as SMaC Force around the office) was in ALL SYSTEMS GO MODE and by 6pm, we were greeting our first neighbors.
We truly hoped the weather wouldn’t keep the first neighbors of Annafeld from gathering and they did not let us down. By 6:30, the garage was filled with conversation and a lively energy. Neighbors brought friends and family and their favorite beverages to share.
Around 7:00, we toasted the new neighbors and welcomed them to the their new homes. They all introduced themselves, said where they were from, and which house they lived in or are moving in to. I loved how some described their homes like this, “We live in the blue house with the lime green door”.
After dinner, some neighbors played cornhole on the lawn while many others headed out for the home tour. We all know how fun it is to walk through houses, so we thought a neighbor home tour would be a fun way to end the evening. A few neighbors were gracious enough to open up their brand new homes to the group and we all had fun “oooh-ing and ahhh-ing” over their personal touches.
We absolutely loved watching neighbors of all ages, backgrounds, and homeowner experience interact so easily with one another. First-time homeowners mingled with downsizers who chatted with renters. The block party truly was another example of COMMUNITY IN ACTION and we are so grateful that like Josephine Crossing, the founding neighbors of Annafeld just GET IT!
Knowing our neighbors….. sharing a meal with them….. laughing and inviting them into our homes enriches our lives and gives us all a sense of belonging that is often hard to find in this world of tech gadgets, smart phones, and social media.
So thank you…..to all the neighbors, friends, and families who make Josephine Crossing and Annafeld such inclusive and connected places to live! And welcome to all of our new Annafeld neighbors, the ones who have already moved in and the ones who will in the future!
I hope that you are making connections, real live connections with the people you encounter each day. There is so much we gain from our relationships with others….our friends, our family, our neighbors, and even strangers who offer a kind gesture.
Tonight, after a summer hail storm pelted Billings, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the people I live next door to. As soon as the storm was over, we had lakes of water in our streets from debris clogging the storm drains. Numerous neighbors wielded rakes, shovels, and squeegees to unclog the drains and clear the water out. The kids donned their rain boots and splashed in the pools. We all shrugged our shoulders, looked at each other, and recognized the power of nature. But also, I realized, the power of our human connection to share experiences, both positive and trying and how we help each other no matter what nature brings.