A knock came at my door Friday morning. How odd, I thought. I wonder who it could be.
was the neighbor lady asking if our vehicle was wrecked before or if it
could have happened in the early hours of the day. She and her husband
had heard a loud bang and wondered if it could have been someone hitting
Sable. We had parked her in front of the house because my husband
sprayed for weeds in both driveways on Thursday.
“No,” I told her. “Sable hasn’t been the same since she hit that herd of deer at Christmastime several years ago.”
We both laughed and took a few minutes to wonder what the noise could have been and then we went about our day.
Come to think of it, she never told me her name and I never asked or gave her mine. Shame on me.
was a time when I knew everyone in my neighborhood for at least a
two-block radius. I knew the parents, the kids and even the family pets.
spent hours at the Schabbing house across the street, playing kickball,
tag, hide ‘n’ seek and of course with dolls. They in turn spent many
hours in my toy room. (I was a little younger than my siblings so I got
to have my own toy room. Don’t hate, just accept.)
We also spent
an inordinate amount of time behind the laundromat playing in the milk
crates. I can’t explain the appeal they had now, but we spent hours
rearranging them and making “rooms” and hideaways.
misbehaved, our parents heard it from the “neighborhood watch.” Now
people just call the police so they don’t have deal with the parents.
Sometimes that might be wise.
It was not uncommon for people to sit out on their front porch after supper and just visit.
were delivered to sick or grieving families. Children were swapped for a
special evening out or just to give a harried parent a break.
still spend time on the porch and in the yard watering, weeding and just
puttering around but it’s just not the same. I get a wave and a hello
from the young girls and boys who walk past my house every day but they
don’t have time to chat or they don’t want to with an “old lady.”
I walk Ringo, we stop and visit with the Hammonds if they are out and
Bobbie and Dave, the couple next door. He still gets more attention than
I do but I’ve come to terms with it. No one is going to coming running
down the sidewalk calling my name or wanting to pet my head. That is not
always a bad thing, in my estimation. Just sayin’.
are still neighborhood children but not nearly as many. We had the
Carder boys, the Metcalfes, the Schabbings, the Hammonds, the Trustees,
the Rodes and on and on. We had our own little pack and we would play
neighborhood games of kickball in the summer and hockey on the frozen
canal in the winter.
With our fast-paced lives and the rat race in which we live, neighboring has gone by the wayside. I miss that.
garages are locked — even when people are home — and children no longer
play outside like we used to. They are hunched over computer screens or their phones, feverishly playing video games, texting or sharing
pictures or have other scheduled activities.
I still know most of
my neighbors, but there are a few I couldn’t tell you what their names
are. We pass each other now and then and give the obligatory wave or
head nod but that’s about it.
Now that I think about it, I
probably haven’t made the best effort to correct that, either. And only I
can change that. It takes two, you know.