Being Neighborly

visiting over the fenceWe are fortunate to have the best neighbors in the world, or Nabes as we sometimes call each other. We see each other outside and holler, “Hey, Nabe!” They are the kind of neighbors that feel like family. We have all helped each other out at times over the years and, frankly, it’s just nice knowing they’re there.

So a few days ago, one of our neighbors called to see if she could borrow some vegetable oil. She was making dinner and just didn’t have enough vegetable oil for corn bread. We invited her to pop on over and she did, bringing her measuring cup with her. Since we’ve been painting, the whole house was a disaster and I’ve never looked lovelier but she bravely came in and I talked her ear off.

She told me her oldest daughter (who I believe is about 10-years-old) was shocked that she had called us to borrow food. In fact, she said, “Mom, who does that?” While Nabe was telling me this, our youngest daughter (31-years-old) called and was on the phone with hubby. He told her what was going on and she said, “Wow, do people still do that?”

flowers on chain link fenceIs this sad or is it just me? I grew up in neighborhoods with chain link fences where you could go in the back yard and see into neighbors’ yards way down the block. You could see somebody standing at their barbeque or reading on a chaise lounge. In the summer, there were always kids running through sprinklers and dripping popsicles on the patio. I remember mom standing at the fence chatting with the neighbor behind us. It seemed like we knew everyone. In the evenings all the kids would go out and play games in the dusk after dinner for a while before bed time. Those really do seem like idyllic, simpler times.

skatesEven as a young mother, I remember standing at my chain link fence talking to the neighbor and her kids behind us. Our girls were always out riding bikes and jumping rope, playing hopscotch and skating. Remember the silver skates with the key? I loved those skates.

Well, I am so glad to live in a lovely neighborhood with even lovelier neighbors. We may have block fences that you can’t see through, but the kindness and friendliness is still there. And I’m very happy to live with Nabes who feel comfortable borrowing a cup of sugar … or vegetable oil!

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6 Responses

  1. Yup! The key on a shoe-string around our necks! Long before skateboarding hotshots came on the scene, I tried squatting down and grabbing my skates on the roll – ended up splitting open a finger and leaving a blood trail – so coordinated! Remember badminton? Remember dad splitting his pants jumping over the fence for the frisbee? Good times.

    • Oh man, I sure do. I loved playing badminton with the family in the back yard. And I do remember the split pants/frisbee incident — dad was sure athletic! Those were great times!!!

  2. And neighborhood games of kick the can? Whoops of excitement echoing in the dark? Hedges that had permanent holes through them where all the kids ran? Fun memories!

    • And red rover and hide ‘n seek. Doesn’t it make you yearn to be 10-years-old again for a couple of hours?

  3. It does. It makes me sad that our kids and grandkids generally don’t experience that kind of freedom, where you could trust that other people would look out for your kids like they were their own, wherever they went. I remember being able to get a band-aid or a glass of water from any house on the block.

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