Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How to be a good neighbor

This is part of Julie's Hump Day Hmmm... Being Good Neighbors. It's not particularly deep, but it is heartfelt.

How to be a good neighbor
(a list inspired by the actions of my fabulous neighbors, who I can only hope think I'm a good neighbor, too)
-Loan tools, ladders, fertilizer spreaders, lawn mowers and pressure washers
-Watch neighbor's house while they are away (includes bringing in mail, taking out garbage, collecting supposedly stopped newspapers from the end of driveway, and turning air conditioning back on before neighbor returns home)
-Offer to watch neighbor's child fairly often
-Never assume that neighbor will watch your children, and only ask occasionally. Also, take neighbor up on her offer to watch your children every now and then so that said neighbor does not feel so guilty about all the times she has taken you up on your offer
-Bring over bags of outgrown clothes for neighbor's child
-Bring over outgrown bikes for same child
-When the fence between homes is destroyed in a hurricane, agree with neighbors to leave it down so that children can run free between the yards
-Never actually let your children run free between the yards unless they are indeed playing with the neighbors
-Help neighbor clear yard of debris after hurricane
-Invite neighbor to enjoy generator-fed room airconditioner after hurricane
-Occasionally mow the bit of neighbor's lawn that directly abuts your yard
-Trim the neighbors yard while you have your weed wacker out, just because you feel like being nice
-Always have a freezer full of Popsicles ready for the hot and sweaty playing masses
-Offer a drink to the mother of Popsicle eating child. Water is good, the occasional wine even better
-Have lots of snacks
-When neighbor child is playing in your home, tell the mother "she's fine here. You can go get some things done at home if you'd like. Or you're welcome to stay here and chat"
-Always be willing to visit with neighbor when she is in dire need of adult conversation
-Have a large freezer in your garage that you allow neighbor to pack to the gills when their own fridge and freezer unexpectedly die
-Never complain about neighbors unmowed lawn, excessive weeds, or garbage cans not properly stored in garage
-Occassionally bring over fresh baked goods
-Always invite neighbor child over for family birthday celebrations

Do you see that we have the most fabulous neighbors? We are so lucky! I try to return the fabulousness as much as possible.


Wayfarer Scientista said...

And add to the list - shovels the walkway and drive when the neighbor is away! My neighbors did this for me last year after we had 10 feet of snow fall and I am eternally grateful.

slouching mom said...

You are lucky! Those neighbors go above and beyond even good neighbors! They're the Cadillac of neighbors!

Candygirlflies said...

You are the luckiest woman in the world!! And you know what else is great? The children are watching you... and hopefully, they'll grow up to treat their future neighbours like that, too. We need many more such people in the world!!

Christine said...

i love these people!! i bet they love having you as a nieghbor too! gotta scroll down and read your last post that i missed somehow.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

How funny, I totally planned to have my post today be a rant about a previous sceeeery neighbor. Glad I pushed it off till a day I was ready to go there emotionally. ;) Wouldn't want to bum out the good neighbor vibe.

thailandchani said...

These all sound like wonderful ideas to me! :)



Jennifer said...

Yes! We have been so, so lucky and have found neighbors like those here, as well. We don't even like our house very much, but we remodeled, rather than move, because we don't want to leave our neighborhood. At least while our children are young. There is NOTHING like leaving the kids playing in the neighbors yard while running up to the store!

Karen said...

I have never had a neighbor like that, but my parents did when I was little and I loved those people, I really did. I called them all "mommies" It was a sweet/short time. I hope you soak it up.

Julie Pippert said...

That is GREAT, great neighbors, great situation, great post.

In a way...I think it must be a tad cultural, perhaps. We have a similar situation, here on the Gulf Coast.

When our giant tree fell on our neighbor's yard in the Neverending Tropical Storm that raged here from May until now, we paid (of course) to have it removed and while we struggle with that, our neighbor quietly went out one day and mended the fence, assuring us he used things he ha don hand and it was no trouble.

Gwen's post was about accepting need...I think maybe in a place like this, you do.

So glad you joined!

Jen M. said...

You ARE lucky! Wow. We live in the country, so it's not as tight-knit as I'd like.

Amy York said...

Those are great neighbors!! I, too, am blessed with fantastic neighbors too - which I didn't experience with my first home. I am so happy that we ended up where we are and with them - it's almost like having a bunch of family members on my street. Almost. :)

niobe said...

What fantastic neighbors you have? Our neighbors? Not so much. Let me know when it's time to compile the lists of how not to be a good neigbor. 'Cause I'll have plenty to say.

furrow said...

I never had neighbors growing up, so I'm still learning how it works. We have one wonderful neighbor and one family of neighbors that we really didn't like at first, but they turned out to be okay.

Lucky you for having the best neighbors in the world.

Emily said...

To this list I would add:

-- Show up with their snow-blower after major storm when family has a newborn at home.

Blog Antagonist said...

I would give anything to have neighbors like that. Though I live in a subdivision with over 300 homes...I might as well live on 500 acres in the middle of nowhere. You're truly lucky!

nomotherearth said...

That sounds like heaven. And I already thought we had pretty stellar neighbours.

Heather said...

Amazing! How wonderful for your family. We have pretty great neighbors too. I feel bad that I don't reciprocate as often as I should/would like to.

Magpie said...

You do have great neighbors! And you sound like a peach to have around the 'hood.