Story Weekend: Neighbors
I’m watching an episode of House Hunters on HGTV (I lead such an exciting life!) and the woman is complaining about how close together the houses are, which started me thinking about neighbors. I bet you have some great stories about yours, past or present!
If you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. As always, there are a few “rules”:
▪ The story must be true
▪ Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.
Our next door neighbors lived close, about 8 feet away across the driveway. But we weren’t very close in reality. From the time we moved into our house until the time we left they hated us because they had been deprived of 2” of their property in our title survey. I didn’t know this until the day when I was 25 and I dug in just a bit too far into the garden on their side of our driveway. The father came out screaming into the yard about me “stealing even more” of his property. What, I wonder, would life have been like with more amenable neighbors?
During the blizzard of 1996 we received over 36 inches of snow from back to back snow storms. We lived in Maryland at the time and snow plows were few and far between, especially on neighborhood side roads. My son was home from college and had booked a trip to Colorado to visit a friend and also to ski. His flight was cancelled. We were able to get him on a flight the next day, which happened to be his birthday. Now the dilemma was getting him to BWI airport. The main roads had been plowed but our cul de sac was covered in 36 inches of snow. My husband, son, daughter and myself went out and started shoveling the street. One by one all of our neighbors came out to help us. In a few hours we had cleared the neighborhood road enough to make it to the main road. We had awesome neighbors! Our son had a great time on his trip to Colorado!
I have the best neighbors in the world. My parents are my next door neighbors. My mom comes to my house to watch my three year old daughter while my husband and I are working. We are so lucky to have a wonderful babysitter. My neighbors are awesome parents, grandparents, role models, friends, babysitters, etc. There are not enough words to describe how awesome they are.
wow, nicole, you are lucky and so are they!
As I set out for the church service on Christmas Dat I passed an undertaker’s ambulance parked in the road. A bodybag was wheeled down the path as I watched. I sat through the service, wondering who had lost a loved one that ‘happy morn.. I found a gas station open, purchased flowers and a blank card, then penned a greeting to someone who I had yet to meet. My knees trembled as I knocked on the door and waited. The elderly lady invited me in, and explained that she’d been nursing her sister through cancer. We sat and chatted by the fire, and I promised to return. The next day I took some quilts with me for her to look at. Yesterday I filled my basket with those cute little Polish wooden dolls (with the red feet). Flora has welcomed me, a stranger, into her home with more love and warmth than I experience elsewhere. I have helped her work through the initial stages of loss, and I will be with her at the burial ground next week. I feel the Lord had a blessing in store for me when he called me to knock at that door. We have evolved from neighbours to friends and she is very precious to me.
Wow, Steph. Just wow.
Neighbours can be so many things. My neighbors when I was a child were kids that played kick the tag, parents that sat in lawn chairs and watched as the neighborhood street hockey was played. Great childhood memories. Then I approached adulthood. They were the people who said hi to me as I held open the doors to apartments, sometimes just smiling at me and cheering my day.
When my kids grew up neighbors were people who joined me with the lawnchairs as our kids played on our cul-de-sac.
Today my grandchild (4 months old) and family joined me for a belated Chrismas day. I think every neighbor had been told this was happening. I don’t even know soem of my neighbors names but again I open doors for them, smile and sometimes our dogs sniff the neighbors dog.
My neighbors have not always been my best long lasting friends but we have all been important. How wonderful can that be.
Congratulations on the new grand baby, Kelly! I thought of you yesterday as the road flooded here at the beach. . .
We actually share a common wall with our neighbours in Dublin. How bizarre is that? My next door bachelor boy doctor married a Canadian doctor and her heart and mine connected to all things ‘home’. They had an Irish/Canadian wee one and I have become grandma by proxy. I buy her Canadian books, I sing her Canadian songs, I make sure she is cognisent of her Canadian hertitage. Never a card carrying Cdn flag bearer me, Just a lost girl in search of love but being a Cannuck has now taken on new meaning and I am home in their wee hoose:} on eve’s of Thanksgivings and Christmas’s with our over done light displays that do not dot the Irish calender. This neighbour knows the worth of a molasses cookie. She knows what how to cook a lobster and skin a deer. She knows that snow in abundance brings it’s joys and sorrows but best of all, she smells and hugs( Irish folk don’t hug) lke home.. What more could those who search for love on a seao f uncertainity ask for?
Our new neighbor was several hundred feet away with a thick stand of trees between us, but he moved in with about 15 hunting dogs that he regularly fed between 5 and 5:30 pm and their yips and barks were quite audible. We hadn’t yet met him when my husband went over to say that our son was getting married outside at 5 that weekend, so could he please feed the dogs early? Not only did he offer his front yard for overflow parking and mowed a path through the woods from his yard to the wedding site, he packed up all 15 dogs and parked them at a friend’s place for the weekend. Needless to say, he’s become a valued friend.
Wow! Now that’s a great neighbor.
When my children were at home and I worked 40 plus hours a week and in my spare time, I was grocery shopping, taking kids to ball practice, games and everything in between, I really never met my neighbors. I was also shy. And I kept my head down if i was outside. My very next door neighbor, I did meet…and we became friends. She always said she wanted one of those neighbors like we saw on the old TV shows where neighbors came through the back door for coffee and gossip. And we did become great friends..but the others on my block I didn’t meet until I left work on disability, Now that I am older and the kids have gone and I just have work…I know my neighbors. I walk through the neighborhood and wave, I stop and we share stories about plants and flowers, bushes and bugs.We share stories of when our kids were young and how times have changed. I wish now that I had been a more proactive neighbor earlier. I have missed out on much life…mostly being shy and insecure. I enjoy getting to know people now. 🙂 It is amazing that we have lived here for almost 24 years. This neighborhood was built in 1964. There are still folks here that moved in when the houses were first built. And they do have some stories to tell.
Hi – I’ve managed to find and buy (and read) all of your books. the only 2 I’m having a hard time finding are: Private Relations and Lovers and Strangers
If anyone can help me track these down it would be very much appreciated
i can be reached by email at: [email protected]
thanks so much
I grew up in a very small, peaceful town, with 12 houses on my street. I remember my parents and other neighbors getting lawn chairs and gathering in the middle of the street to visit. One neighbor boy in particular became very close with my family. He is 10 years older than me, but that didn’t affect the bond he and I have. He went on vacations with us, ate dinner with us almost every night, and we followed him everywhere watching him play sports. One of my favorite memories, is when he went away to college to play football, we would get to visit him after his games. He always spent time with us, even though the other players were with girlfriends or friends. He was never embarrassed to have a little 8 year old girl following him around. We are both grown, with children of our own, and two of them are close and even oddly enough look alike. He is now considered as my brother, and we have stayed so very close, and I love him to pieces.
I haven’t had the privilege of being gifted with a neighbor that could ever replace the one I lost 40 years ago. Kathy was my confidant, my cheerleader, my bake-off partner and mental health barometer; in essence, my best friend! We cared for each other’s children, formed a bridge group and socialized with other neighborhood couples.
Kathy and her husband moved next door in the last trimester of her first pregnancy, shortly after he had passed the NJ Bar, when their future offered nothing but promise. Toward the end of her pregnancy she experienced anemia and received iron injections for treatment. Sadly, as a result of nerve damage related to the injections, Kathy was afflicted with the loss of the use of her legs. Kathy never blinked and handled all that was dealt her with the charm and grace of royalty.
Kathy cared for her baby, ran her household and entertained as if nothing was unusual with her lifestyle. She started going to the Y with me three days a week so she could exercise in the pool for physical therapy, while I swam and my son received swimming lessons. As time went by, Kathy thought the exercise was beneficial but she was tiring more quickly and then began to run an elevated low grade temp. When her son was only 18 months Kathy was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Prognosis: 18 months!
Although Kathy was incapacitated for a few days after treatment she would quickly recover and immediately attended to the business of living her life, as usual. Treatment went well and when completed Kathy happily was in remission, but the clock was ticking! Right on schedule, after 18 months, Kathy came out of remission and received treatment once again. In a real life love story, Kathy lost her battle the same month her son celebrated his 3rd birthday, leaving a loving husband behind to care for their son. I shall carry my unforgettable neighbor and friend in my heart forever.