I am already crying just THINKING about writing this post. Lame. I know.
Have I told you that I have some of the bestest neighbors in the whole wide world? I am sure I have. But just in case you missed it, I do. I really do have great neighbors.
I have a neighbor that mows his immaculate, luscious green lawn each week. And while he's at it, he rides on over and gives mine a quickie too! (The lawn, you pervs!) Anyway, maybe he does it because he knows that I am just too busy and exhausted with work, kids, school, and other mischievous fun that I probably won't get around to it in time to keep from bringing the neighborhood down. Maybe. Or maybe it's because he is just a super nice guy and really cares about me. Yep. I'm goin with that one. My mower died a few years ago. We borrowed another neighbor's mower the last 2 summers. And if/when I went out to mow, people would say, "You should not be mowing. You have boys for that!" And they did mow. But, I am not home all of the time to make sure they do it. And now, this summer, my kids are usually at their dad's every Saturday. So, thanks to my super-great neighbor across the street, my front lawn has been looking decent this whole season so far! Oh - and I finally acquired a mower. And my boys have been doing the back yard to keep it from looking like the the deep jungle. But we have this horrendous tree. And any time the wind blows even just a little, it poos sticks and leaves EVERYWHERE! Little Duckling has seriously already filled at least 5 bags full of sticks. But we cannot keep up. It stops my grass from growing nice and no one ever plays out there, because there would be serious injury. So, when the boys are home, and I am home at the same time to monitor their chore-doing, then the sticks get cleared and the weeds get mowed. And my neighbor could be the kind to sit in his house and complain that he has to look across the street at the pile of dump that I live in, and the yard that's goin to pot. He really could. But, he doesn't. He selflessly comes over and just mows.
I Heart Marshmallows. I really do. I love roasted marshmallows. Gooey marshmallows. Marshmallow Cake Frosting, Marshmallows in Cereal. Marshmallow Rice Krisy treats. Even slightly stale marshmallows covered in sugar crystals... hmmm... Peeps. I don't even need S'Mores. I just love the roasted marshmallow part. We were lucky enough to get a small firepit for the backyard Jungle w/Crooked and Cracked Cement plan. We have our camp chairs out there and the kids and I have made S'mores and roasted marshmallows at least a dozen times in the six weeks we've had it. It's great for family fun. The bad thing is, the wind blows. And in addition to causing more branch-poo, the smoke blows right into our neighbor's window and gets sucked in by they evap cooler. So, PartyGirl and her fam get the pleasure of inhaling our campfire... probably equivalent to sucking on an exhaust. I am sure they'd rather NOT smell it. But they have never complained to me. They still smile and wave as they go in and out of their house. They've also come over to roast marshmallows with us and enjoy homemade rootbeer on occasion too! They could call me up and complain. Seriously, they could. I mean, if they wanted to live in a campground, they would've stayed at the KOA, right? But, they don't complain. They understand my quirks and my passion for marshmallows and love me just the same. They will check in on me and see how I am doing. PartyGirl and I have the best conversations ever! And we get to partner up to visit ladies from the church too! We've had many a laugh and many a cry together! The fence is not the divide that keeps us apart. In fact, just yesterday I was thinking, we really oughta just put a gate door between us. It would make coming over that much easier! hahaha!
I've called my other neighbor's husband (Desperate Housewife) for help on occasion. Desperate Housewife doesn't mind either. I mean, she knows me well enough to know my genuine intentions... Not to mention he's the best darn mechanic around - and honest to boot! She is great too! Late night talks, vents, cries, and laughter. The husband could complain I am over too much. She could complain I talk too much. But they don't! They indulge me. They help me and they are there for me. They get my mail when I'm gone, call me when suspicious activity takes place when I am not home. I have borrowed things from them (by the way, I still have your rake!), "shopped" in their food storage when I was out of something, offered prayers and blessings on my behalf, even. She shares things with me when she has "too much". She's been my back-up during our late-night stalking BigTruckGuy Excursions and there's been the late-night drive-thru rendezvous too!
LawnMower Man, Desperate Housewife and PartyGirl are my immediate neighbors that look out for me and I know that they truly care. And there are other neighbors too. Around the corner. Down the street. Around the block. All of them are great! My neighbors have helped me in a pinch. They've watched my kids, picked up or dropped off my kids. Helped me finish projects. Given me things they knew I could use that they didn't need anymore. They've invited the kids and I over for family game nights or dinner. Or we've had girl's nights to just sit and gab and stuff our faces! Then there are the "mysterious" things that happen, that I know are because of a neighbor. Groceries left on my front porch. Gifts cards left in unsigned envelopes. Gas Cards. A Gallon of milk. Clothes for the kids. I could go on and on. In the beginning, it was hard for me to accept any type of help. I knew divorce wouldn't be easy. I knew that I didn't have a lot, but I knew for my kids' sake, I had to make it. But now I know that part of "making it", physically, mentally, emotionally, includes the love and service of others. I try to give back when I can. It's never as much as I want and it probably never will be.
I guess the thing that spurred this post this morning, is because I was thinking about one day if I would ever move. This would be a hard place to leave. Not the house; it's a dump. Not the yard; it's an eyesore. But it's the people. I can literally take a walk throughout the 4 or 5 streets in the neighborhood and I know who lives in almost every house. I wave and smile, and they wave and smile in return. I care about them. They care about me. It's a rarity to live in a place like this. Maybe not here it is, maybe not to these people. But I've lived in lots of towns, cities and states. This is a rarity indeed. A Utopia of sorts.