Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh, Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood - The People that You Meet Each Day

Neighbors - who are they and what are they like?  I loved hearing the Muppets sing about their neighborhood when my children were small.  I think I liked watching The Muppets as much as they did.  And Mr. Rogers sang about neighbors too - remember?  "Would you be mine, Could you be mine, Please won't you be my neighbor".   You just can't hear these songs and not want to sing along, but let me give you fair warning.  Don't start singing them unless you want to get them stuck in your head - you'll find yourself singing them at the oddest times.

The MacMillan Dictionary's #1 definition of neighbor is "someone who lives near or next to you".   Being from a rural area most of my life, we thought that people who lived within a five mile radius were our neighbors.  We've always had good neighbors in every neighborhood we've ever lived in - people that you love spending time with and when time permits sitting on the porch rocking and talking.  Now that our neighbors are less than a block away, we've found that we really like close neighbors.  My neighbor, Ken, feeds our animals while we are away and brings us delicious tomatoes from his beautiful garden.  This week, I'm returning the favor by feeding his cats.  My neighbor Linda stops by and picks me up for Yoga classes and other community events and she recently pulled into my driveway and cried with me while she broke the news that my cat Cello had been run over by a car.  We're so fortunate to have good neighbors - you always hear horror stories of the mean old grumpy guy in the neighborhood.
Oscar the Grouch

This week the word neighbor took on a whole new meaning.  We have two wonderful couples living on each side of us at the coast.  They're both retired and we all enjoy spending time together on each others porches - the men telling their fishing stories and we women sampling each others perfumes and talking about grandchildren.  We went down last week to prepare our place for the storm and came back home before the storm came through.   They stayed, but spent the night of the storm in a hotel in a town further inland and went back the next day to check on things.  Having a key to our place, they were able to assess the damage, and called us telling us that the five or six inches of rain had caused a leak and there was water on the carpet.  She said she would turn on a fan and dry it out so the water wouldn't cause any damage.  What a nice neighbor, don't you think?

But that's not the end of the story.  When I talked to her today, she told me that her husband had been up on our roof and made some temporary fixes in case it rained again before we got back. She had continued to run a small heater and fan and got things dried up inside.  Wow!  Aren't we lucky to have such good neighbors.

Now, most people would define a good neighbor as someone who is quiet and minds his own business. But those aren't the people we go to when we need help, are they?  We go to people like Ken and like Linda and her husband Richard.  And sometimes we don't even have to ask for help - people like Jimmy and Earline just step up to the plate and do what needs to be done.  When I thanked her today, she simply said, "I know you would do it for me".  And she's right - I would.

Sometimes we forget that the people sitting beside us in church or living next door have needs.  I tend to think everyone around me has perfect lives.  As I think about God’s goodness in giving me wonderful friends and neighbors,  I'll try to think of ways I can reach out and become a better friend and neighbor myself.

And who are the people in your neighborhood? Are they simply "the people that you meet each day"?  Or are they more like my neighbors who go way beyond the definition of the word neighbor?


  1. You sound as though you have wonderful neighbours.
    I am so pleased that the storm didn't do too much damage.
    We have been watching the horrors of Hurricane Irene in USA and it just makes you feel so helpless to watch the trail of damage and destruction.
    Was really sorry to hear about your cat ........ but at least the neighbour who broke it to you was able to be kind and stay with you for a bit.

    Most of my neighbours are kind and helpful people, who stop and have a chat when you meet them. One or two are exceptionally kind, like the ones that you described.
    However it only takes one malicious person to spoil the tranquility of the neighbourhood.I need not say anymore except that if this is the path that is chosen..... then its a lonely path.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  2. I remember my country life, so long ago. Neighbors would honk when passing by or stop for a chat. Now, most of mine are self-centered and inconsiderate. Let's keep your's at the fore-front of this subject, shall we?

  3. Why, hello! I stumbled upon your name on Diane's blog..Thisisme and clicked on over for a visit. Well to my surprise we have some things in common. You love Holden Beach...we love Holden Beach. Now,my husband isn't ready to retire yet but we are debating when he does if we want to retire to the beach area. Dear friends of ours have two houses on Holden. One oceanfront they use as a rental and one canal house they use for their personal use. Anyway, I'm going to be your newest follower/fan and am looking forward to hearing more of what we may have in common...other than Diane and Holden...oh and Orchid...
    Hugs and you're invited to visit my little corner of the blog world anytime!

  4. Hi Glenda; I see that Sush is stalking me over here! You won't regret it, as she is a lovely bloggy friend. I think that is quite a good way to visit blogs, by looking at what comments people make on the blogs that we already follow. (If that makes any sense!). You are, indeed, blessed with your neighbours, especially those looking after your property by the sea. Sometimes, with people being so busy these days, especially the younger ones with young families, we can forget to reach out to others. Good post my friend. Forgot to say, I love the header photo!

  5. We live on 6 acresin the best farm land in California..
    Neighbors are kind when approached. There are 4 men living on this lane and only two take time to help out. One being my husband.
    I am the only lady to step out and work on things. (makes me feel unlady like sometime) I get dirty!!!!!
    One will not anzwer the door, and he aludes us often by trying not to make eye contact.
    I pray for him a lot as he has issues.
    Dave and I try to make life easier here. I bake for my neighbors, We clean the road as does our closest neighbor.
    We had to replace mail box stand and reset all boxes yesterday as someone had spun out on this road and hit the post.
    Did we mind, NO not at all, We are just amazed at the loss of neighborly contact we have here in California. We have new neighbors building on acreage at the beginning of our road. He is building a HUGE home, and they are really special, I bake for them and that Lady gets dirty as me. I told her I was proud of her. We are farmer women.

  6. So glad you didn't have a lot of damage and that your neighbors helped. Very sweet of them but as they say, you would have done the same thing for them. Good to know there are people out there when you need them. We have lived in a lot of neighborhoods over the years and have been lucky with all of them, some quieter than others but on the whole you know people would help if needed.

  7. It seems from your comments that most neighbors are good, but like some of you indicated - there are some rotten apples in every bunch!

  8. Hi! Dear Glenda,
    I am SO sorry for not visiting your blog a while!!!
    I am REALLY glad to hear that you have lovely helpful neighbors♬♬♬
    My retired husband is sharing Soba he makes to our neighbors and they really appreciate that, which pleases us, too. And they give us some returns for it from them. Especially, my next neighbor has 2 kids and they sometimes come to hubby's hobby room to play with him. Untill quite recently, I had trouble dealing with them because they are too small and not having been blessed with a child of my own. However, they are cute and their mother is a well-mannered woman to know how and when she should pick them.
    Well, I have a terribly SAD experience with a neighbor, not only just a happy one. It was so while back, about more than 30 years ago. This one lady is a true busybody (hope it is the right word). As I have a trouble with hormone, I had been visiting university hospital for infertility treatment, she has been gossiping about us which one is responsible and I should have work and so on.
    Haha, old story and I am happy that I have a good relationship with other neighbors now♡♡♡
    Sorry for the long comment,
    Lots of love and Hugs xoxo, Orchid


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