RICHMOND — Blame the kids.
”The first day we moved in,“ says Cindy Glass, ”Tyler and Tanner (two kids from down the block) came to see if there were any kids with us.“
There were four.
From that day on, the kids on Moss Creek Court have been out on the circle. One minute it's soccer goals at both ends; the next, it's water balloon fights and bike races. The next, it's one teenage boy noticing that another was always wearing a Guns-N-Roses or Led Zeppelin T-shirt and saying ”Hey, let's play some music,“ said Jake Ellison, and soon Jake, T.J. Glass and Michael Riley had put together a band that plays in T.J.'s room at the Glass's house or out on the Rileys' driveway.
They can play as loud as they want. The little kids are pulling the parents to the curb to watch and pretty soon, you've got full-blown, adult-size Memorial Day parties that last until midnight and a neighborhood where no one can remember the last time they went on vacation and had to board their dogs.
The Indigo Run neighborhood is way deep into the north Madison County countryside where you'd hardly expect to see a new house much less a bevy of them butted up against the heifers and horses. But on land once owned by 19th century Kentucky abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay — who presented it, late in his life, to his wife, who was really early in hers — a new neighborhood has sprung up in the last decade, exemplifying exactly how a bunch of houses coalesce into something way better than that.
It's the day when the people in Indigo Run wake up early, drag out their old stuff, pile it on the ping-pong table and drag it onto the driveway. Then the neighbors come over and everybody swaps stuff and everybody's kids go home with money in their pockets and each other's old stuff under their arms and everybody is happy.
It's the yearly garage sale.
Everybody's out and some are still in their purple bathrobes sipping coffee with slightly damp hair.
That's Jeanine Mosher who says she used to live in a neighborhood where things were not such that she could let her kids roam. She says here, the circle of where her kids could wander started small and has slowly grown as they have. That's true of all the kids in the area
”You can almost map the migration patterns,“ says Mosher. ”The circle just grows.“
And the circle gets mighty well-informed. Kids and parents on one side of the development notice ”that there was this blue car parked in the neighborhood,“ said Glass, ”and nobody knew who it belonged to.“ E-mails spread far and wide. (After some ruckus, turned out it belonged to a police officer.)
Word of the neighborhood itself spread.
Solomon and Sybil Forsythe had already played matchmaker to friends Emily and Gus when the house next door came up for sale. Sure enough, the newly married Emily and Gus bought it.
They're not the only cases of friends dragging friends in. A few blocks over, three families have come from someplace else and simply dropped their lives back in place here.
There have been other immigrants. Walter and Cecilee Tangel had the sad duty of burying one of their beloved dogs under a rose bush on the very day that a cat chose them as his people. The children in the neighborhood call him Mr. Meow and invite him to their tea parties. He usually shows.
Lindsey Glass, 6, knows all the dogs and cats by name. She knows exactly which house buys exactly how many full-size candy bars at fund-raising time and that ”they don't even have kids.“ She knows exactly how far she can walk and whose yard she can cut through, which is everybody's.
And she knows the story of how when one of your dogs goes missing, you can count on everybody to try to find it.
In the neighborhood directory, for just that purpose, the name of your dog is included with your phone number.
Judy Daniels was one of the first to move into Indigo Run.
Standing in the midst of her knockout roses, she said she liked the new neighborhood because, strangely enough, nobody was going to be from around here.
She and her family were originally from Michigan and they needed to make friends and the last thing in the world she wanted to do was move into some established place where everybody knew everybody and she was going to be then and forever ”the outsider.“
”We needed to make connections and were looking for people who needed to make connections. Like attracts like,“ says the woman whose house in Indigo Run is now a landmark for those giving directions to others in the "hood. Hers is the house with the abundant garden that looks like it has been there gathering momentum for years.
It's only been seven.