We partnered with Kristin Schell, blogger of The Turquoise Table. Check out how she builds community by celebrating 4th of July with friends and neighbors.
Love invites us to move outside into the neighborhood.
The day the Turquoise Table went missing, my phone was flooded with texts from concerned friends. We were out of town for the 4th of July holiday, and our neighbors knew we weren’t home to see that the table had mysteriously disappeared from our front yard.
“You’ve been robbed!”
“Pranksters have done something with the Turquoise Table!”
One friend even texted me a photo of the exact spot where the table normally sits.
The Turquoise Table has become part of the landscape in our neighborhood, a symbol of people belonging. Naturally, they were concerned. What my friends and neighbors didn’t know was it was in good hands.
Shannon, who lives around the corner, had arranged for the table to be part of the neighborhood’s 4th of July parade. The Turquoise Table was safe and sound on a flatbed truck two blocks away.
I had nothing to do with the idea or planning for the parade. My neighbors made the fun happen, creating an entire Front Yard People theme for the float. Over the next three days, friends sent pictures and posted Facebook status updates documenting the progress as the float came together. Being away gave me perspective to see Front Yard People in action.
The float represented years of memories, trust, laughter, tears and investment in each other’s lives. All the small moments of gathering in simple ways manifested themselves as our neighbors rode as Front Yard People on a red, white and turquoise float in the parade. We did it! And we’re still doing it!
Opening Our Lives and Homes to Others
In the beginning, the day the unpainted picnic table arrived at our house, I posed a hypothesis: What if we were to take all of our backyard activities—our birthday parties, bubble blowing, messy art activities, barbecue suppers—and simply move them to the front yard?
What would life look like if we lived as Front Yard People?
Community was always there, ours for the taking. We simply needed a nudge, a new way to see through the busyness and distractions in life. A place to slow down, sit down and be present.
The Turquoise Table is that place. By design, picnic tables are not a place to sit alone; they invite community, especially when you gather out front, where everyone can see. It’s a place where all people belong, and belonging is the ultimate gift of community.
The 4th of July is a perfect opportunity to bring neighbors together. Whether you gather for a parade or pot-luck at your Turquoise Table is up to you!
Front Yard People are the ones who raise their hands and say, “I’m all in!” Let’s be people who build our lives around each other, opening our lives and homes to others, one Turquoise Table at a time.
Bringing a dish to your upcoming neighborhood celebration? Try this simple salad that is sweet, salty, bursting with the flavors of summer and perfect for the 4th of July.
Watermelon Feta Salad
- 1 watermelon
- ½ cup fresh basil, gently torn
- 1 cup feta, crumbled
- 1 lime, freshly squeezed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cube watermelon into bite sized chunks. Drain in a colander. Place watermelon in a large bowl or serving dish. Toss gently with basil and feta. Drizzle salad with fresh lime juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.
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Adapted from The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard by Kristin Schell © 2017 Thomas Nelson, www.TheTurquoiseTable.com