Tag Archives: neighbors

Walking with Tica (and now Sylvia): Thanks, neighbors!

Judith Edwards welcomes Sylvia to Beacon Hill. Photo by melissajonas.
Tica’s walks are a little slower and a little shorter than they used to be. She also has to share the smiles and praise our neighbors generously dole out. On May 14, we added a third person to our family: Sylvia Grace Foster. Gifts and well wishes started arriving before we even brought her home, thanks to the “doggy grapevine.” The neighbors who walked Tica while Sylvia was being born shared the news of her birth with all our doggy friends. We arrived home to a warm welcome!

Sylvia is napping in one of the many adorable outfits Heather passed down from her kids. I’m enjoying a hot bowl of chicken vegetable soup while the baby sleeps—courtesy of our neighbor Georgia. Judith’s potato soup waits in the freezer for another cool day; I devoured the chicken rice ambrosia as soon as she left it on the porch. Other neighbors have shared gifts, food, support, and tips for raising a baby in Beacon Hill—thanks to you all!

Beacon Hill businesses have also been welcoming, generous, and patient with our new baby. Sylvia’s first outing was to the newly opened The Station, where Luis greeted her like family. We strolled to the Beacon Hill Festival and had lunch afterwards at Baja Bistro and dinner a few days later at La Cabaña (impossible to say which is more family/baby friendly).  Already, we’ve enjoyed two Beacon Rocks! events, visited the library multiple times, and been granted the royal treatment at Red Apple. Sylvia ogles other babies smaller than watermelons at McPherson’s, and enjoys attention from the big kids in strollers at Beacon Hill Office and Mail Center.  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the Piñata Party next Saturday!

Many thanks to all the wonderful, amazing, generous, thoughtful people who have welcoming Sylvia to Beacon Hill.  I hope she always appreciates how fortunate we are to live in this community.

Walking with Tica: Growing community

Photo by Invisible Hour, via Creative Commons.
When I was cruising the internet 10 years ago searching for the perfect canine companion, I looked forward to having a fuzzy head keep my feet warm on the couch and planned the cool tricks I would teach my new pal. I also started jogging a few weeks in advance, so that I would be in better shape to tire out an energetic young dog (ha!).  I researched food, off-leash areas, doggy daycares and dog walkers.

What I didn’t realize was that over the years, I would get to know every tree and front flower garden in the neighborhood.  I’ve learned where the dogs live and where the cats like to hide.  While Tica sniffs, I read the “for sale” and “lost bike” signs on the telephone poles.  We’ve watched babies grow into kindergardeners. Walking with Tica has shaped the way I interact with my community.

I enjoy casual (and sometimes lengthier) conversations with neighbors—mostly those who spend a lot of time outside, like the dog owners and avid gardeners. Walking with a dog provides an opening for conversation, sort of a secret handshake.  People stop and smile and start conversations.  People reach into their pockets (or go into their houses) to share a treat with Tica.  We exchange cookies during the holidays and keep an eye on each other’s homes on vacation.

It shouldn’t have surprised me that growing a baby brings out the same responses in people.  I’m getting to know an entirely different group of neighbors—the grandmas, the moms without dogs, older kids who feel safe making eye contact with a mom-to-be.  The always friendly library staff and Red Apple cashiers are absolutely bubbly.  People who usually walk quickly from their car to the front door linger on the sidewalk to say hello, ask how I’m doing, or offer baby items.  I’m amazed by the generosity of our neighborhood.  Thank you to all the neighbors who’ve shared baby items, support, and yummy snacks!

Here are some Beacon Hill area parenting resources and places to donate or sell your baby/kid gear.  More experienced parents, please add your suggestions in the comments.

Have you ever searched “Beacon Hill” on craigslist?  I’ve gotten several baby items in perfect condition at a great price. Best of all, I got to meet new neighbors with kids, within walking distance of home!

Baby food, formula, and diapers are always welcome at both of our neighborhood food banks:

El Centro de La Raza, 2524 16th Avenue South, (206) 329-7960.

Beacon Ave Food Bank, 6230 Beacon Avenue South, (206) 722-5105.

If you’d like to donate children’s items or know a family in need, Wellspring Family Services operates the Baby Boutique.   Their “urgent needs” wishlist includes: carseats, maternity clothes, shoes, and personal care items (shampoo, lotion, etc).  The Baby Boutique serves kids of all ages, from newborn to teenager.  Baby Boutique accepts donations on the following days and times: Tuesday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm; Wednesday thru Friday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm; 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; or call 206-902-4270 to set up an appointment. Due to limited space, they cannot accept items larger than cribs or toddler beds.

I’m just getting started with the North Beacon Hill Parents yahoo group.  It seems to be a good place to give away/sell kid items and post questions about everything from preschools to replacing old wood windows. I’m looking forward to interacting more with this group.

If you have pet items you’d like to donate, consider these resources:

Seattle Humane Society offers assistance to low income pet owners.

Rainier Veterinary Hospital is not a non-profit, but they do help people and pets in need. 815 Rainier Avenue South, (206) 324-4144.

Meet your neighbors at a Night Out Block Party on Tuesday

Neighbors and police in Washington DC enjoyed their neighborhoods National Night Out in 2008. Photo by DC9T.
Neighbors and police in Washington DC enjoyed their neighborhood's National Night Out in 2008. Photo by DC9T.
As we mentioned earlier, Tuesday August 4, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, is the annual neighborhood Block Party and National Night Out Against Crime. Groups of neighbors throughout the Hill — and throughout the country — are getting together to celebrate their community and hang out with the neighbors while heightening crime prevention awareness.

If you haven’t registered your party with the police department yet, you can still do so until 9:00 am today. Registration materials are here. Of course, you can have a celebration with your neighbors whether you register or not, but to have the street closed, and for the firefighters to bring their truck by for the kids to check out, you’ll need to register your block party.

These are the block parties we have been made aware of this year. Are you having one that isn’t listed here? Please post about it in the comments.

  • Mid-Beacon Hill Block party on South Brandon Street between 20th Avenue South and 21st Avenue South. If you would like to attend, please email Katrina at katrina.thompson@gmail.com
  • Join the neighbors from the north side of 15th Avenue South on the cul-de-sac on 15th and Massachusetts, right across the North Beacon Hill P-Patch. Please bring your own drinks, chairs, and a dish for the potluck. “We will have plenty of music, neighbors, and fun. We hope to meet more of our neighbors. Thanks.”
  • “We’ll be hosting a night out event on South Snoqualmie Street, just west of 11th Avenue South. Come on out!”
  • There is a block party on the 4200 block of 14th Avenue South between South Nevada and South Oregon, 6:30 pm — 10:00 pm. “What people are encouraged to bring: Small Grill, Chairs, Food (Meat, Veggies, Fruit, Desert, etc…), and smiling faces. We’d love to invite folks from all over Beacon Hill, so it doesn’t matter if you’re from our block. Come on out!”
  • A block party will be between Judkins and Atlantic on 13th Avenue South, in a shaded area with several barbecues and room for kids to play. “Please feel free to drop by if you live in the neighborhood.”

Beacon Bits: A hero, neighbors, and greenery

Photo by supafly.
I love how these look good even in winter. Photo by supafly.

Bungalow renovation blog

Follow along at beaconhillbungalow.blogspot.com as new Beacon Hill neighbors Laura and “Labor Foreman” (does that make her Laura Foreman?) utterly disassemble and then put back together a 1920 bungalow to their own design. They’ve been doing mostly demolition since getting started just over a month ago, and are now gearing up for rebuilding. Everything from plumbing to insulation to counter tops is just beginning to come together now.

It saddens me a bit to see the house with so much original craftsmanship be completely gutted. Here’s hoping their plans are not only perfect for them, but are also well-suited to the bones and character of the house.

Welcome, Laura and “Labor”! (I think his name is actually Justin.)

Neighborliness and snowstorms

Yesterday we were keeping warm and enjoying the snow. I was working on pulling together some things to post on the blog, and getting ready to go out and take some photographs and see what people were up to in the snow.

Then we got a phone call from our friend Kristen, telling us she was worried about her cat. I went to Kristen’s and saw that her 7 month old kitten Julius was indeed very ill, and needed to visit a vet immediately.

But there were 11 inches of snow outside, and none of us had chains, snow tires, four wheel drive, or anything else that would be helpful for driving to a vet. Additionally, there are no emergency vets in Southeast Seattle. We would have to go to West Seattle, Wallingford, Bellevue, or Lake City. I guess you can’t call 911 and get an ambulance for a cat, can you?

So we turned to the Internet. We posted on Twitter: “Trying to find emergency vet transportation for someone, to Wallingford from Beacon Hill. Sick kitten who needs a vet, and we have no chains”. We also posted an appeal on the Beacon Hill mailing list.

And soon someone did reply. I don’t know if he would want us to mention his name for this, so I won’t, but a kind Beacon Hill neighbor drove Kristen and Jason up to the emergency vet, and waited there with them until they were able to see the vet and then come home.

It is nice to know, that despite some of the neighborhood problems, that people are still neighborly and help each other out. Thank you to the neighbor who helped save Kristen’s cat.

(The kitten turned out to have an intestinal blockage. He had surgery last night and apparently the blockage was caused by eating part of a cat toy — one of those small fur-covered little mice. The surgery went well and Julius is resting now.)