Our garbage is picked up late in the mornings, usually around noon on Mondays and Thursdays. That gives me plenty of time to put it out; I usually do so around 9 AM. Last Thursday was also the day for pick up of the recyclables; so after I put the garbage out, I headed back to the street with an armful of cutup cardboard. As I was about to deposit it curbside, my neighbor Art came over and said ” They came early today but they’re just down the street and, if you hurry, you can catch up with them.” Sure enough, the garbage truck was only a couple of doors away so I galloped after it with the cardboard tucked under my arm, yelling at them to stop. Luckily, they heard me and waited and I was able to unload the cardboard. Just then , Art came jogging up with my trash can containing the bottles and cans. I was able to get rid of them too. As we walked back, I thanked Art profusely and thought to myself how lucky I was to have neighbors like him. We’re new in this neighborhood and , prior to last week,I’d only spoken to Art a couple of times. Yet, here he was , this seventy year old man, looking out for his new neighbors and even running after the garbage truck to help me get rid of my trash.
Art is very nice but so is everyone else we’ve encountered in this community. Next door to Art, and directly across from us, live Don and Sue and these people are exceptional in this or any other neighborhood. A couple of days after we’d moved in, they knocked on our door and welcomed us with a loaf of Sue’s homemade banana bread. When he found I played ping pong,Don took me under his wing and introduced me to the members of the local club. Don and Sue are always ready to help anyone in need and they do it without fanfare. Next door to them is a man who has been afflicted with Lou Gehrig’s disease, a terrible affliction that has left him completely paralyzed. Somehow, his wife manages to care for him at home with the help of 24-hr nursing care; it doesn’t leave her time for anything else. Don and Sue quietly take care of her garden shrubs, weeding and mulching and keeping it in good shape. They also help in untold ways whenever she needs anything.
This is a still growing development and several houses were completed and occupied around the time we moved in. A month after we did, Don and Sue hosted a wine and cheese party at their house for all the newcomers, us included. It was not only enjoyable but gave us the springboard to get to know several of our new neighbors. Prior to moving here , we’d lived in three different houses but never experienced this kind of welcome. People were nice but we never got beyond the ” Hi, how are you today ?”stage. I can only hope that our friendships continue to grow and that our neighbors come to like us as much as we like them.