For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of either living in Columbia, MD or staying with the lovely folks at Casa de Fred, it can be hard to understand how amazing our neighborhood is. Columbia is a planned community, and I believe the first of its kind, so it has all these wonderful villages and neighborhoods with names like Hickory Ridge, Clary's Forest, and Wilde Lake. The city association takes great pride in keeping the foilage lush and green, even though it comes at the expense of having numerous rules and regulations about what homeowners can do on their own property. Putting aside the restrictions, it is amazing to see how beautiful everything can be year round.
We've also been extremely fortunate to move into the most amazing condo building where we have met and made some of the greatest friends since moving to the east coast. Our first experiences in MD were not filled with friendly neighbors, and we had started to believe that east coasters were just not interested in who lived next door to them. Then, we moved to Columbia and were astonished how warm and inviting our new neighbors were. There have been birthday parties for adults and children, many nights with the grill going and the Maker's flowing, not to mention the many many many games of cornhole! While we are both looking forward to moving back to be closer to our family, we know that moving away from these friends will be very difficult.
I have a variety of different routes that I take on my morning runs, but there is one street that I have made it a point to run down every day this week. There is this amazing lilac bush right along the sidewalk that someone has obviously taken some time to cultivate over the past years. It is quite large and all week it has been in FULL bloom with more flowers than I have ever seen. The strong fragrance rushes through my nose and instantly I am reminded how much I love the spring flowers!!!
As I ran past this wonderful bush on my way back to my home, I thought that I would put to the test once again just how much I love this town. After I finished getting ready for the day, I hopped in my car and headed out to work. I stopped by this house, walked up to the front door, and knocked. A woman with a small son answered the door and after introducing myself I expressed how much I love running past her lilac bush every morning. I asked if I might cut a few sprigs of the blossoms. Her face lit up with a huge smile and told me that I could take as many as I would like. She introduced herself and her son and shook my hand, saying again that I was free as many blossoms as I would like. Once again...the people in Columbia turn out to be some of the nicest folks I have met since moving to the east coast.
Thank you to my neighbor for brightening up my day and filling my office with the most wonderful lilac fragrance. Thank you my new friend!