Times have changed and although the neighborhoods in my not-so-small town still look the same, they've changed, too. I work from my home so that I, too, can be a stay-at-home mom, even though my children are all school age now. From my office window, I look out on the street where we live and watch my neighbors drive off to work each day. A few years ago, there was another woman like me who lived across the street, and we once admitted to each other that just the sight of our cars in the driveway gave the other a sense of comfort, to know that "someone else" was at home, too.
My back yard is edged with a "privacy fence" like the rest of the neighborhood. I'm not sure that either of my next-door neighbors even has a clothesline. (I do not). I don't feel isolated. Well yes I do, and that's why I love reading blogs written by other stay-at-home-moms. But if I need some human contact I can jump in the car, meet a friend for coffee or volunteer at my kids' school where the staff is always looking for warm bodies to help out. For the most part, I like working from my home. Yes, I always have to make the coffee, but since that was sometimes an issue when I worked in a "real office" at least I don't have to deal with that. My office mates are cooperative and cheerful, even if one does sleep and shed on my daytimer, and the other snores occasionally while asleep under my desk. I can take a break and blog when I want to, and no one looks over my shoulder asking what I'm doing. And when there's a warm, sunny day, I can sit on my screened-in back porch and listen to the birds chirping, put my feet up and take my coffee break out there. Sometimes, though, I look longingly at those high fences and think how nice it would be to find a friend on the other side.