By Catherine Risling
There’s not a batch of cookies or cupcakes baked in our oven that isn’t shared with the couple next door. The reason?
Yvonne and Glen are simply great neighbors.
In an area where most keep to themselves and there is infrequent conversation and few friendly waves, we are grateful to live next to such a wonderful couple. We commiserate about the guy across the street whose yard needs upkeep and share trash cans on yard days. We feed each other’s fish and bring in packages when on vacation.
Good neighbors make life easier, safer and a lot more fun.
“Please call the police if you see any funny business,” I always joke when we head out of town. Glen keeps an eye on our property and we do the same when they are away. This affords us peace of mind that unwanted visitors haven’t invaded our space and the pool hasn’t overflowed.
Sharing is Caring
Our neighbors often drop by with fresh eggs and grapefruit, lettuce and radishes from their yard. We, in turn, deliver care packages of baked goods and a sampling of my husband’s newfound coronavirus hobby: home-brewed beer.
When it comes to fixes around the house, what struggling couple couldn’t use a little help? Glen not only has the tools, but he’s quick to lend a hand. Recently we asked if he would store our daughter’s birthday gift until the big reveal, Glen offered to assemble the bike. He’s also troubleshooted sprinkler fixes and installed a showerhead. He has the know-how and is happy to share it.
Given our remote location in the woods on an island, knowing we have neighbors close by is comforting.
Combined, our respective households have four kids, nine chickens, two cats, two fish, two lizards and two dogs so we are always helping each other out. Whether it be animal care, watering gardens, passing on clothing and shoes that our children have outgrown, an occasional text looking to borrow a missing ingredient for a recipe, tucking a package delivery inside during messy weather, or just checking in to see if anyone needs anything during a power outage, good neighbors are the key to a great community!
I’m convinced that I live on one of the best streets around and it’s because our neighbors are so incredible—generous, kind and supportive.
We exchange fruits and vegetables from our gardens, borrow tools and equipment like ladders, trade transportation duties and share our knowledge of gardening, pruning and birds in the area.
Besides celebrating some holidays together (there’s an annual Winter Solstice party at one neighbor’s and a Memorial Day brunch at another), we also help each other in different ways.
We’ve hired each other’s kids for odd jobs. Our next-door neighbor’s daughter, who came home from college when the pandemic hit, ended up working for LooHoo.
Thanks to neighbors, my 11-year-old son had his first summer jobs—two lawns to mow on a regular basis and weekly upkeep of a native plant garden. My husband re-roofed our neighbor’s shed that houses some of our lawn equipment. An area that borders both of our properties is now a shared garden where hostas and other plants are happily cared for.
My son takes guitar lessons from the neighbor across the street and he cat sits for them when they’re out of town. And every Christmas we all make something to exchange (this past year we made reusable produce bags, while other years we’ve made vanilla and granola). It’s always fun to give and receive the neighbor gifts!
So we just have to ask: Are you fortunate to live next to great neighbors and if so, what makes them so special?
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