As I was walking through my neighborhood this weekend, the song “Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?” from Sesame Street popped into my head.
I love my neighborhood. I am fortunate to have really wonderful neighbors. As I was smiling and walking with my dog (some neighbors may think I am crazy! Oh well!), I was thinking about all of the places we have lived and the neighbors we have met through the years. Recognize any of these?
The Friendly Grass Cutter
In one neighborhood, I was by myself all of the time. My husband was always deployed. One Saturday morning I woke up embarrassingly late to the sound of a neighbor cutting our grass. I looked out the window, sleep half asleep, and there was my neighbor smiling and waving from his riding lawn mower. Later that day when I was fully awake, I walked over to his house said thank you and offered to pay him. He told me not to worry, that he wanted to help and my yard would be taken care every week for as long as my husband was deployed…which was always.
The Box Taker
In another neighborhood, on the second day we arrived, one of our neighbors rushed over and ran right into our garage and introduced himself. I was standing in my garage directing traffic as the movers arrived (we were in a townhouse, and looking back, I was basically saying “Take the box upstairs, yes, that box goes upstairs, too”) and out of nowhere appeared a friendly stranger. He and his wife lived across the street and wanted every single one of my boxes and the packing paper! They were preparing to move in the next few months and the boxes would be helpful to them. I said “Of course!” and announced that he was my new favorite person! During the next few weeks as I unpacked, he would take the boxes as I emptied them.
In my current neighborhood, one couple is retired and are often awake early in the morning. I know each morning as I walk past their house they are watching as I walk with our dog. We often wave, and if they are outside, we will visit for a few minutes. This may seem small but I have noticed they are being friendly, while also watching out for me. They watch me as I leave the street and they would notice if I didn’t return. It is nice that they care enough to keep an eye on me.
Neighborhood Watchers II
One time when we were out of town and still new to a neighborhood, a neighbor thought she saw someone in our house. When the police were called, another neighbor went through our house with the police to see if anything was missing or if any doors or windows were opened.
During one of my husband’s deployments, I caught a terrible cold. I lost my voice and was so congested I could barely breathe. A dear friend and neighbor came to my house delivering orange juice, spicy soup, and vitamins to help me feel better. Her kindness made me cry, which of course made my nose even stuffier, but I was so grateful!
Some of these friends and neighbors are veterans, currently serving military families, fellow military spouses, and some were civilian residents of the community with no military connections at all. We have been so fortunate to have these wonderful people as a part of our lives. When PCS season arrives, it is always hard to say goodbye to good friends and neighbors! The good news is there are always new friends and neighbors waiting in new communities and there is always the possibility we may return to a community and we can be neighbors again! If you are moving this summer, I hope you make new friends and find wonderful neighbors.
Have you had a great experience with neighbors in the communities where you have lived? Tell us about them!