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These nextdoor neighbors became best friends in a Polo

A year ago, my relationship with my neighbor, Liz, was hardly more than a polite wave from across the street. We’ve been neighbors for over five years, but it’d still take me ten minutes to remember her kids’ names. We just didn’t interact that often.

I would never have guessed that Liz would soon be a dear friend that could fill a void in my life. I was new to motherhood, and needed a strong, experienced mom around that could help me understand and manage this whole process. I have two wonderful sisters-in-law, but they don’t live near. And I felt a desire to have support close-by.

On paper, Liz and I are complete polar opposites. She’s Mormon. I’m not religious at all. In fact, I don’t believe in God. And I’m very liberal. She grew up on a cattle ranch. I eat a plant-based diet. Seriously, we couldn’t be more different.

But one day I saw her on Marco Polo. I reached out, “Hey neighbor. This is fun. How have you used this app?” She told me she uses it to connect with her sisters.

Our conversation started there, and continued with basic banter, like, “How are the kids?”

Pretty soon it evolved into questions: “So tell me about your first prom”—or—“if you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?” And we’d go back-and-forth all day adding to a conversation.

We began to see our similarities, and topics we could bond over. We had deeper things in common, like respect for people and what makes them happy, and a curiosity and openness for others. We have great conversations about religion and theology.

It didn’t take long before we were taking walks around the neighborhood together, just to get out of the house.

We had this cute moment the other night. We have an amazing cherry tree in our front yard. It always bursts with this beautiful fruit. And we can never eat all of it.

Liz Polo’d me saying, “Um, I ate one of your cherries. What are you gonna do with all of those?”

I said, “Nothing. Come get some!”

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So for the next few days, she and her family came over to pick fruit. It was so sweet to see them climbing the tree, and picking cherries. It was this tender, emotional moment, with this cherry tree and all my neighbors coming over to eat from it.

Liz has become one of the closest, dearest, most important friends in my life. And having a friend nearby, is a real gift. It’s amazing to consider this beautiful friendship may never have blossomed without this app . . . even though she lived only one house away.

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