The one thing that seemed to stick in my mind lately is how our neighbors and I live in this town. It's a bit different. Not like it's invaded by zombies or anything like that. Not like nobody talks to their neighbors. Far from it. It just seems like most people around here don't really use the front door.
I guess it's because every one's driveway goes to the alley in back and people normally park towards the back of their house. Or maybe because this little town we live in now has alleys and all the places I lived before didn't. It's not something I can really put my finger on. And it's not everybody.
When some good friends (Joel, Richie and James) came over last week for our inaugural Beer Run Ride (23 or so miles, stop at the awesome Rockmill Brewery, then go ride our bikes some more) everyone naturally parked in the back of our drive just past the back door. We unloaded, chatted a bit and then took off. When we got back, the guys had to leave but it just seemed to generate the thought in my head. Our friends all come to the back door at our house and a lot of our neighbors are the same.
With some of the houses, coming to the front door seems formal. That's for delivery drivers and door-to-door stuff. If you come over and head to the back yard then you must be a friend. It means you know us. You know the dogs (and aren't scared of them). You're ready to find me in the bike shed or sit by the fire (if you come over in the evening) and have a drink of your preference. It's the same around the town. Our friend across the alley would sit out in the back yard as soon as the weather is warm enough and when we'd get home on a Friday he'd encourage us over and always have a drink to put in our hand. If we head north down the alley there's the guys out behind the auto repair shop who, after hours, are out shooting the breeze and they're always open and gregarious. During the Old Timer's Festival we go and watch the old time baseball game from the garage on the alley of other friends.
Not all the houses are setup for this sort of interaction but it just seemed to highlight to me how we live and setup our living spaces. So when you come to our house I'll know how to treat you depending on what door I hear you knock at.