The writing prompt from Mama Kat that I chose for this week…neighbors. I have some – some okay, some not. And, I have had some – some okay, some not. But write about them? What could I say that would be worth reading? There might be some stories I could tell, but I wasn’t sure they would be interesting. I could write about the back-door neighbor who, when my son was installing a fence at my previous home, sat with her garden hose trained on the fence, and as soon as they took down a portion of the old fence, squirted them with a water hose. The police had to be called so we could finish installing the fence.
Or I could tell about the time she pulled over a section of the fence by hanging so much of her stuff on it…then walked through my back yard in the dark to tap on my window, scaring me half to death, to tell me the fence had crushed some of her stuff (the same stuff she had hung on MY fence!). I could tell about the time she called the city and told them my pine tree was endangering her house because the roots were “heaving up out of the ground”. I was given a notice by the city that I had to have the tree removed within 7 days or they would remove it and charge me $1100. When I called the city and had the arborist come out and actually look at the tree, they discovered that the roots were not heaving up out of the ground, and there was nothing wrong with the tree. The order was rescinded.
I could tell about the conversation she had with my daughter-in-law when they bought the house from me and moved in…she immediately went over to tell her all about the troubles she had experienced with the “crazy lady and her son” who lived in the house. Imagine her surprise when the DIL told her who she was!
I guess I could tell those stories, but instead, I decided to define the word “neighbor”.
Dictionary.reference.com says the following:
1. A person who lives near another
2. A person or thing that is near another
3. One’s fellow human being
4. A person who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his or her fellow humans
5. Used as a term of address, as a friendly greeting
Thefreedictionary.com adds this:
“Neighbor” is a compound word, formed from the words meaning “near” and “dweller, especially a farmer”. So, originally a neighbor was a “near dweller”.
So, here is the story I will tell you about neighbors.
When I was growing up out in the country, neighbors were important. You knew that if you needed anything, the neighbors could be counted on to help. If someone was sick, neighbors brought food and helped with work around the house, or farm.
If someone died, neighbors brought food and helped with the children, or housework, or laundry.
If someone needed help building a barn, or harvesting crops, the neighbors were there.
It is sad that we no longer feel related to our neighbors in that way. And sad that sometimes we have crazy people for neighbors!