Tuesday, April 12, 2011

like a good neighbor


How well do you know your neighbors? Are they your best friends or more of an acquaintance? Do they know your dirty laundry or do they not know who you are?

Growing up in the midwest my parents were besties with the neighbors. Al and Betty Ott. I even remember getting hand me downs from Carol Ott (who was the cool college girl...) NOt going to sugarcoat it because I vaguely remember being told not to play with those other neighbor kids down the block because they were "trouble" and stayed out too late or some other reason. Basic small town America with the good and the bad as far as neighbors go.
For most of my adult married life, my family and I have never really had neighbors. Sure, there were other people on the street but not the kind of neighborhood where you looked in your next door's neighbor kitchen window while you were in yours. Lots of elbow room. You might get together once or twice a year along with the casual hand wave if they happen to be out as you pull in your driveway.
Last night we found out that our neighbor's husband died from cancer. He passed away two weeks ago. He was a young 65 and we had just toasted in the New Year with them at another neighbor's get together. Can you believe it? We didn't even know he had an illness (to be fair; we found out that he didn't know he had cancer until the middle of January...) but not knowing that he had died makes me feel like "bad neighbor" award.
All of this makes me think how "close" is everyone else to their neighbors?

4 comments:

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

sadly, we are not close to our neighbors. we know people on the street by name and face, and we gather with others in the 'hood. i'm going to make it a point to know those around us more.

Melissa Stevens said...

I don't really know my neighbors that well anymore either. I know when I was growing up, we used to have yearly block parties that everybody on the street would come too and get to know each other. But now it is sadly so different. This post reminds me that I really need to be a better neighbor.

Kara said...

Since I live in the Midwest and a townhome complex - I know everyone on my block. It's nice that people look after each other. I don't talk to everyone every day but it's great to wave hello in the morning or a quick chat when walking the dogs.

Rolerkite said...

we have a special sort of relationship with the numerous tenants at Big Mama's house. The sort of relationship that they offer us Hennessey from their red cup while chilling in the front yard. Sometimes no contact is better.