Friday, July 24, 2009

The Pickle Cookie Neighborhood

The Pickle Cookie house sits in the middle of a quiet block in the middle of a quiet subdivision. It’s an older subdivision – houses erected in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s – so the lots are large, full-sized lots. None of that zero lot line business for us. The Pickle Cookie neighbors value their space! And their privacy.

Hey you skateboard kids:

Get Off My Lawn!
{And Get Off My Neighbors’ Lawn Too}

We know our neighbors’ dogs by name and their cats by sight. We will say something to you when your dog poops on our lawn and you don’t pick it up.
We know what our neighbors drive, we know what time our neighbors go to work, and we know what our neighbors are cooking on the grill tonight for dinner.

Pssst...We know who was using their weed whacker at seven thirty on a Saturday morning.

We also know which retired couple has nothing but Coca-Cola and a half gallon of milk in the refrigerator, and we will stop by around dinner time with “accidental leftovers” of roast chicken and vegetables and fresh-baked peach cobbler.

We have a key to our neighbors’ house in case of emergency and they have the key to ours. This was after I accidentally locked myself out after dark and had to break the bathroom window to get in; the mosquitoes almost drained my last pint of blood! And this was before the neighbors told us about the time their roof caught fire and the other neighbor let himself in, with his key, to put the fire out.

Most of the time we forget to lock the front door.

Sometimes we go to bed with the garage door standing wide open. Our neighbor calls us on the cell phone to let us know before “those kids” can get a look and plot some mischief.

We borrowed the 10-foot ladder from our neighbors last Fall; it’s still in our garage. We use it to trim up their trees for them. We have exchanged phone numbers, pager numbers and e-mail addresses “just in case”. We have the mailing address of their son in New York who “works in the theater”. We’ve lived here for fifteen years and we’ve never met him. That makes us sad.

When we go on vacation our neighbors pick up our mail for us. They pack our mail neatly into a shopping bag with a handle. We toss their mail willy nilly into any old bag we can find in the house. Our neighborhood patrolman makes extra trips through our alley when we’re away because we told him we’ll be gone. He also knows when to expect us to return.

When our neighbor threw his back out mowing the lawn we drove him to the emergency room. When it’s stormy and the power goes out we all phone each other to make certain that everyone is o.k.

Isn’t your neighborhood like this too?

And if not, why not?

Do you know the people living on your street? What about the people who live next door?

What would happen if you took a moment to introduce yourself?

What if everybody did?

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