Neighbors Brighten Up Sherwood

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"The word is out: If you don't know what season it is, go to Sherwood," Alpine Village resident Su Connell said.

Sherwood Drive, that is off McLane Road just south of Airport Road. There, as you drive into the Alpine Village subdivision, six neighbors are decorating their homes for the holidays all the holidays.

"We started with Valentine's Day, then St. Patrick's Day, then Easter, and now Cinco de Mayo," Connell, unofficial spokesperson for the neighbors, said.

Cinco de Mayo decorations currently adorning their homes include dozens of matching sombreros and colorful scarves on fenceposts, a windsock in the shape of a red pepper wearing a sombrero and strings of pepper-shaped lights.

Other holidays, seasons and events the group plans to observe with coordinated outdoor decorations and lights include local rodeos, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving. For Christmas, however, each family will do its own thing.

The bright, colorful displays have attracted plenty of attention from passersby, some of whom even stop and knock on one of their doors.

"Many folks have stopped at our homes and said how much they enjoy driving into Alpine Village," Connell said. "Some inquire where we got our decorations and our ideas."

But what has been most rewarding is the camaraderie that developed among the participating families as their venture unfolded.

"About eight of us got together after the holidays to play dominoes, and we started talking about how bleak it was going to be after the Christmas decorations came down," Connell said. "We said wouldn't it be fun if when you turned onto Sherwood that we all had similar decorations for different holidays. So we decided as a neighborhood project to decorate for the various seasons."

In addition to Connell and husband Jack, participants include Phyllis and Ed Schmidt, Marcy and Jim Carini, Nancy and Roy Olson, Jennifer Rasmussen and Jean Zimbal.

The men went to work making wood cutouts of Easter eggs, shamrocks and other seasonal symbols and icons, while the women did the painting.

"Each seasonal change has been a cause for potlucks, card games and just lots of celebrating," Connell said.

While most of the participants are retired, not all are.

"We included neighbors both young and old," Connell said. "We range from our 30s to our 70s."

The participating neighbors hope to get others on Sherwood and throughout Alpine Village to join them.

"When we buy lights and things like that, we buy extras for some of our neighbors on fixed incomes so they can participate too," Connell said. "We're trying to get more people to join us."

Connell jokes that it keeps them out of mischief, but it has also helped to create an old-fashioned sense of community.

"We've started celebrating birthdays with gag gifts and cards," she said. "We try to check on the elderly in the neighborhood and help provide them with the services they need. We keep an eye on each other's homes when we're out of town. All in all, we have a fun time celebrating the seasons, our successes, and life in general."

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