We’re quite happy to stay in a very safe and friendly neighbourhood. We moved from Auckland to Timaru in August 2012.
Because of the distance and the limited, we got a temporary rental place through a Timaru house rental company. We got a two-bedroom flat in a 14-door apartment along Evans Street.
It’s always been our prayer that the Lord God would give us friendly neighbours wherever we go. He gave us just those in Timaru.
I got to know my neighbours uniquely. I met them through the communal outdoor rotating clotheslines.
Each time I hang our laundry, I would meet one or two of our neighbours who were also hanging clothes at the lines. I met a different neighbour each time until I knew everybody.
As we shared the clotheslines, my neighbours and I talked, while we picked our clothes, placed it on the line and attached the clothespins.
At first, it was just the usual greetings of “Hi”, “Hello”, “How are you?” or “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”
Then as we hang our laundry each week, I and my neighbours begin to know each other more.
In fact, our talking engagement would continue even after we have finished hanging our respective laundries.
I learned a lot from our good neighbours. They shared information valuable to new Timaru residents like us.
At the clothes line area, I met a father and his two children. His two daughters became our daughter’s close friends and playmates.
In September, during the school spring break, our woman neighbour offered to tell stories and teach arts and craft to our daughter and her playmates.
So the children had great time with her. The story sessions and art activities continue during some weekends when the school term resumed.
One afternoon, another neighbour took us to fishing at Caroline Bay Port. Though we didn’t catch anything nor even get a nibble, the fun and camaraderie we shared are priceless.
Now, each time I hang our laundry to dry, I just keep smiling thinking about how the common outdoor rotary clothes line enabled me to befriend our neighbours.
Indeed, the friendly helpful people in Timaru made our moving and settling lighter.
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