Friday, November 4, 2011

Good Neighbor Policy

I live in a older neighborhood. By older I mean the age of it’s residents tend to be on the plus side of 50. The result of that is a quite area in a sea of rolling boom boxes and verbal and mechanical traffic noise that often include police helicopters flying overhead. That is ok I like it like that. A island of quite in a sea of urban noise.

But we have this one neighbor and his wife as well as his kids that exemplify the meaning of community and service. You see they believe you have to look after your neighbors particularly if they can’t get around or take care of things or need help much like I do because of arthritic knees and hips.

This neighbor is never still. I see him doing lawn care for his neighbors without thought of compensation. He has sawed up and cleaned up fallen tree limbs after a storm. Cleaned ice away from steps and always greet you with a smile. Again, this goes for his entire family.

I have wittiness his daughter who is attending college help the more senior of us who are unable to drive get in out of her car to take them to the doctor or grocery store. The son follows in his father’s footsteps helping out with keeping the neighbors yards. Just yesterday observed raking fallen leaves, mowing and edging.

This is just who they are. As it has been said it’s in their DNA.

This got me to thinking. This is the way it use to be in small towns or in tight neighborhoods. Everybody looking after each other.  We used to help one another to get through the day. All done without thought of compensation or thanks. It was just what you did as neighbors.

I remember distinctly my mom looking after a neighbor kids while a parent recovered. Of dishes made and delivered to the sick or grieving. Sacks of groceries left on doorsteps of elderly and those who have lost their jobs and money for food disappeared. It was just what you did.

But we live in a less neighborly society today. We have forgotten that none of us will get out of this life alive. That no matter how independent we may think we are there will be those time when a little neighborly help is appreciated. But, remember it isn’t a one way street give and you will receive.

These are the lesson that my neighbor has reminded me of. So when his water line from the meter developed a leak I didn’t hesitate in helping him figure out how to fix it. Nor do I mind watching his place as well as my other neighbors while they are away. Because I know that they will do the same for me. It is just what neighbors do.

So why am I writing about my good neighbor?

Simply this, we are living in difficult times. It is a time that from recent figures from the Dept of treasury and office of congressional budget report that nearly 50% of our citizens live at or below the poverty income level. A time when the American dream has become the American nightmare. It is a time when social programs are cut but foreign aid and monies for war spent in support of governments who leaders have openly said that in a war with another country they would come to the aide of the other country.  We have forgotten charity starts at home. That money can’t buy you friends.

Enough of the soap box.

Projects, reading and movies.

Started taking apart and repair of the children writing desk that a neighbor recently gave us. A lot of repair work but it is better than just tossing it out. It has inspired me to undertake a making of 4 desk based on it as a pattern as a part of my grandkids Xmas present. Hope to get started on that this weekend.

Continued to read Joe Bageant “Rainbow Pie, a redneck memoir”.

Watched recently “Fast and furious 5” a nice fast paced action movie with Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson set in Brazil. I love it mindless violence and all.

TV wise been watching a lot of NG “Rocket City Rednecks” and “Mad Scinentist” as well as Discovery’s “Mythbuster” this season has been particularly good.

Well enough for now.


  1. enjoyed this post on the neighbor very much David. Human cooperation at it's finest. I am glad you can appreciate many have lost it.
    How about the Rock in Fast Five? Talk about huge..and I agree an excellent lose yourself in it flick.
    take care

  2. My neighbor across the street is like your neighbor. When I think about why I am not that way, I think of how busy I am, and how even more busy my wife is. At work both of us do much more than we used to and get paid a lot less. But we have a daughter in college (don't get me talking about the extremely high cost of tuition) and we are going to have to stick it out.

    But to your point, we do need to slow down as much as possible and be better neighbors.

    Thanks for the post.