While I was out for a run yesterday (no, this is not a running post — those really are all over here), one of my neighbors stopped to introduce herself and chat with me. We ended up talking for about 15 minutes, during which time she gave me what seemed like her life story. She’s lived her for 15 years and loves the neighborhood but wishes she knew more people. She said she only knows about 5 families in the neighborhood, even after all this time.

I told her how the possibility of not knowing our neighbors concerned me when we moved here and that I’ve been trying to meet people and be friendly. And she said, “Oh, yeah, you’re very friendly. We’ve waved to each other several times!” At that, I laughed and said something about how people must think I’m a big dork, waving to everyone. She just laughed with me (at me?) and did one of those little “oh, no” type hand waves.

But she didn’t say that people don’t think I’m a dork.

So, that left me wondering.

We finished our conversation and I headed out to finish my run. As I crested one of the big hills in the neighborhood, a couple and their dog was walking toward me. We’ve waved before — they in their car, me running or pushing Conal in the stroller. As we got closer to each other, I decided to see if they would wave before I did. Because I was thinking that maybe people do think I’m a dork with all the waving. Maybe they find it annoying, who knows?

The couple waved, and I waved back. Then the woman said, “Good morning,” and the man said, “Great morning for a run, huh?” Huh, is right! I gave them a cheery, if breathy, “Good morning!” back and followed it with a, “Sure is!” and off I went.

And then I saw another woman, whom I’ve chatted with before, and we exchanged a few “Good mornings.”

Now, I’m wondering what I can do to take this friendliness to the next level. How can I really get to know these people? Owen has suggested that we have a party and invite all the neighbors, with the sole purpose of getting to know them. That seems very counter to my personality. But, it might work.

I’m looking for ideas. Do you have any? Will you share them?