Christa and I are both very social people. We love throwing parties and hanging out with family and friends.
We grew up in small town Pineville, Louisiana, and lived in a fun, middle class neighborhood, called Village Green. We have lots of wonderful memories of hanging out at the community pool or tennis courts. Our neighborhood put up wooden ornaments next to everybody’s mailbox around the holidays. Nobody ever wanted the ugly bell! You waited every year to see what wooden decoration you would get. It was so neat! (Village Green Peeps, do you remember the wooden cut outs?)
I knew Dave and I would make a good couple after I saw how much fun he had and how he was always up for hanging out with friends. A few years after we were married we purchased our second home in a very large planned community (Cinco Ranch) located in Katy, Texas. We were super excited and impressed by all of the amenities (Water Park, Beach Club, 4th of July parade). The schools were the best of the best. We had wonderful neighbors who would do anything for each other. My only quibble about our neighborhood was that it wasn’t very social. A few neighbors hung
out in clusters, but the overall feeling was one of isolation. We didn’t have block parties, community crawfish boils, and other unique events.
I had every intention of trying to start these things in my Katy neighborhood, but life got busy and I started having kids. I did join bunco and tried to start a freezer meal club, but neither endeavor was a lasting success.
Meanwhile, Christa moved to Towne Lake (2,000 residents versus the 50,000 in Cinco) and was so busy that she couldn’t possibly make every social event in her community. She was always talking about dinners, mommy groups, scavenger hunts, progressive dinners, crawfish boils, daddy-daughter dances, safety events, ect. You name it, they had it. The even employed the best social director- Alyssa, whose job was making sure Towne Lake residents have fun!
Once Dave’s commute to his work downtown started taking over 90 minutes
each way, I started to complain. I threatened to move to a very small house/apt inside the loop so that we could see him. Dave was not thrilled at all with this prospect, so he finally caved and we moved 1.5 miles from Christa.
I can honestly say that both Dave and I are so appreciative to be here! Since we moved to Towne Lake in July we have been invited to a ton of parties and play dates. Our section (Creekside) is very social. They pitched in to hire a food truck for the Fourth of July, and now are organizing one huge block party. The idea is each street chooses a state and a theme for the food. For example, if everyone on my street agreed to Louisiana, we could make crawfish, gumbo, jambalaya, etc. I actually think it might be fun to do a random state like North Dakota and try and figure out their fair.
Freezer meal club ladies and spouses
Yesterday we attended the Towne Lake annual chili cook off. It was a blast! There was something for every age!
Today we walked down the street for a super fun Valentines Day play date!
Another great feature our friend Amy reminded us about is the Heritage. The Heritage is a section of Towne Lake that caters to the 55 and older crowd. They are very social and are constantly participating in fun activities. Several of our friends’ parents have moved to the Heritage section because of the convenience of living near kids and grandkids, while still having their own life!
We would love for our parents and in-laws to eventually move here!
Do you live in a community with nice folks who need a little nudging to get the social aspect started? Here are a few tips to help you be the conductor of this fun endeavor.
Mommies Group White Elephant Party
Towne Lake is divided into sections. One of the first things Christa did after moving into the neighborhood was to organize her section. It was right before summer and she made treat bags with a “orange you glad it’s summer theme”. Attached to the treat bag was a note asking for neighbors to join the Southshore yahoo group and to send a little blurb about the family. She then hosted a back to school s’mores party where she invited all the neighbors in her section.
The yahoo email group is very useful when sharing information and concerns about our section.
Other suggestions to get your neighbors actively invoked include:
12. Organize a game night where the adults play games and the kids wear pjs and watch movies.
13. Organize a top chef or cupcake war challenge.
If you have tried most of these things and your neighborhood still seems boring, you should probably just accept the fact that your neighbors are Fuddy Duddys and you need to move…and try somewhere else! Good luck!