That's because I finally DO have a few neighbors I know. The yard sale was the turning point, actually. It gave us an excuse to chat with people, learn (and re-learn) a few names. I had a really good feeling about the family from almost right across the street, so when Joe and I were gone in San Diego for more than a week, we gave them the key and the older little girls watered our plants. The mom said I didn't have to pay them, but I did. What's the going rate for five sessions of plant-watering, anyway? I got a hug back from one of them, aww.
They were coming over only every few days, though, so even though I asked them to bring in the newspapers, the house started to look a bit unoccupied. Our lawn-mowing neighbor from up the street noticed the papers piling up, stuck them inside our storm door, and mowed our front lawn again!
There are a few other people I know well enough to chat with on the street, but I'm starting to think that what helps the most is having at least a couple good neighbors -- people who will notice you (or your absence) and help out if they can.
Now I just need to finish learning their names. The family almost right across the street has four children, and they ALL have long, unusual names that start with the same letter. One day I'm going to ask their mom for a cheat-sheet.
Nice neighbors make me happy. So does an evening without a huge downpour. I even got the back lawn mowed.