Strange Neighbors No More

     Do you know your neighbors?  Do you have their phone numbers in case you need them?  My answer was no 1 week ago.  I mean, I knew them by name and waved hello the infrequent times our paths crossed but ever since my young boys grew up and I wasn't spending all that time watching them outside, I felt like I had retreated behind closed doors and wasn't really a presence on a street that used to be very social.

     Well, the welcoming of a new neighbor directly across from us changed all that.  It became crystal clear that I had to welcome this single woman, about my age, and several other single women neighbors, about my age, to a holiday-ish gathering at my house so we could re-knit a neighborhood.  Food prepped, wine chilled, here's what I learned:

1.  Gwen is an artist who was invited to speak at a University in the United Emerites.

2.  Patty lost her husband, brother and sister all within 1 year and was just diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer and remains grateful

3.  Donna adopted 3 stray cats on our street and thwarted the efforts of Florida Power & Light to hack back our beautiful canopy oak trees.

4.  Renee used to refinish sailboats, has beautifully relandscaped her yard (my view!), is now a night nurse and has invited her 90 year old mom to move in with her.

What a pleasure it was to get to know these wonderful women!  What started out a little stilted ended up with exchanging of numbers, great gossip and hugs.  Everyone felt a little more connected and less isolated and I think we all ended up with the comfort and knowledge that we have someone just across our shaded street to reach out to whenever the need is there. 

Give yourself the gift of reaching out and inviting someone new into your life.  Priceless!



Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford didn’t always know the phytochemical benefits of kale, in fact, those words weren’t even in her vocabulary 30 years ago. Neither did she see any reason to do jumping jacks on a cement surface for an hour. But all it took was a chance vegetarian cooking class and some high-energy music to open her eyes upon a whole new world of healthy living. For 30 years Polly has practiced, studied, taught, educated and lived a healthy lifestyle that makes her such a powerful speaker.

Polly’s down-to-Earth and humorous approach mirrors her own lifelong journey to lasting, positive changes. The audience walks away with tangible plans for improving their health and their lives through food, fitness and fun.
To book Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford, call 941-685-7725 or visit her at

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  1. Polly, what a gift you brought to everyone by opening up your home. As someone who moved just 5 minutes from my prior home it was too easy to simply keep my "old" friends that I had lived by for 18 years, watch our children grow up together, have Survivor, Amazing Race and New Year's Parties. After all, I was simply renting and probably only going to stay a year. Three years later I only know a handful of people given this up-front decision that I wasn't here long. Time to reach out beyond the warm smile and waves. Thank you!

  2. What a great reminder that everyone has a story and if we take the time to know their stories, we would find new friends and connections.  Thanks Polly!

  3. Wow, Polly, that is fantastic!  Thank you so much for a fabulous reminder of the importance of building healthy, happy relationships.  It is SO easy to get caught up in our own lives and forget about the value of social networks.  And don't we even have great studies that show that people with strong social systems are actually healthier?  That you so much.  I'm going to go knock on a few doors and say hi.

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