Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Real Neighborhood

Crazy Train (of thought)

If wisdom is the wealth of the wise, I just might be poor.

Well, the belly dancing didn’t go over very well the other night. Jill said I looked like a whale with hiccups.

The way you travel through life is the greatest legacy you can leave to those who follow you.

Why is it that when I don’t water the shrubs it won’t rain, but almost immediately after I’ve spent two hours soaking the ground, there comes a downpour?

Drug testing chess champions? I thought they had to take stimulants just to stay awake during that game.

Best quote I’ve heard in a long time (from a Mom to a daughter during a talk about sex): “You can be like those girls in less than 30 minutes, but they can never be like you.” Now that’s wisdom.

Am I the only one who is beginning to wonder of Fox & Friends is really a commercial for the books written by the hosts?

Book Report

As I’ve mentioned, I’m working on a project that I hope will result in a newspaper column. Here’s a sample:

A Real Neighborhood

What makes a neighborhood? Is it a collection of homes on the same block or the people who live next door?

I’ve lived in several homes, all within neighborhoods, but my experience was different at each address. For example, at our last address I knew the first names of only a few neighbors. Although we lived in that house more than five years, we were never invited by a neighbor to come over for a meal. The only time my neighbors came to our door was when there was a quota to meet for a school fundraiser. No one waved as we drove past. My family was not connected to anyone outside our four walls; there were no friends in our neighborhood.

Today we live at an address where everything is different.

In this neighborhood, neighbors watch out for your children when you aren’t looking, grab your newspaper from the sidewalk and toss it onto the porch while you are on vacation, and rescue your mail on a rainy day if they see it sticking out of the mailbox. They wave when you drive past, and sometimes stop you to ask how you are doing.

Perhaps it is because we now live on a cul-de-sac rather than a through street, or maybe it is the time we spend with our neighbors in the park watching our children play fetch with our dogs, but here our neighbors are indeed our friends.

When I say friends, I don’t mean casual acquaintances, I mean people you trust, people who are important to your heart. Our neighbors are the kind of friends with whom you exchange house keys, to whom you lend your car or a stick of butter, even if it means they go into your refrigerator when you aren’t home.

In the last two years we have had more meals than I can count with our neighbors, our friends. It is during these meals, in that time spent together, when we get to know our friends better. It is when we share our life stories, major announcements, concerns for our children, and sometimes our tears. It is when I am reminded of how happy I am that we live in this neighborhood.

So what makes a neighborhood? The close proximity or similarity of the homes on either side of yours? Or the people who are your neighbors? It is the neighbors, I think, the ones who become your friends. What do you think?

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