With the recent hurricanes affecting the U. S. we have seen wonderful examples of good neighbors on the news. Too bad it takes a catastrophe to makes us aware that human empathy is still present in our crazy world of division. 

My mother was a good neighbor according to my grade school friends, and I never knew it until years later. My Mom was 42 when I was born. Sort-of unheard of back in the ’50’s. My friend’s Mom’s were in their 20’s when they were born. Both Jody and Mimi have told me stories about how when their Mom’s were stressed out, they would go have coffee with my Mom and she would give them a safe place to vent and would offer advice, not give instruction. She also filled Mimi’s Mom’s kitchen with flowers one day because she needed a pick-me-up. Now, Mimi does that for her friends. The cycle continues.

We have good neighbors. Once when we were out-of-town, my daughter locked her keys in her locker at the gym. She called us not knowing we were away and I told her to call our neighbor Lou to come to the rescue. (Yes, the gym should have had bolt cutters, but they didn’t.) Lou didn’t own any bolt cutters, but he went to the store, bought some, went to the gym and cut the lock, and then wouldn’t let us even take him to breakfast as a thank you. He’s a caring, special guy.

Our niece had great neighbors when she lived outside of Pittsburgh, PA. There were five couples that lived on a cul-de-sac, all about the same age, all with a couple of kids. The kids traveled from one house to another in a pack while the parents texted each other as to their location. Halloween parties, birthdays, and holiday gatherings were the norm. If one father didn’t think to set up a sprinkler on a hot day, another one would. It was always fun to visit for the weekend to see what the group was up to. Unfortunately our niece moved to take a better job and her neighbors outside of Cleveland don’t give her the time of day. They don’t know what their missing.

I like any neighbor that is quiet, doesn’t have a barking dog, and doesn’t think I am their entertainment committee. I’m guessing my neighbors don’t think of me as very friendly but you can bet I would be out there helping if we had a disaster.