Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Good Neighbors?

One of the Blogs I read every day is "The Lipstick Chronicles", written by a group of female authors.  Some of the authors I love, some I have never read (but plan too), and  I just love their blog posts.
Yesterday  a post was written by Harley Jane Kozak, called "Love Thy (Next Door)  Neighbor"

It got me to thinking  (well, that and the lemon-blueberry pound cake which is just the right size to take to neighbors as a welcome to the neighborhood gift), about neighbors and if I, myself, had any neighbor funny or horror stories to tell.

I grew up knowing all of my neighbors.  All of their names and who their children were, what they did, where they worked.

We had good neighbors --- The McLaughlin's, whose son Gene I was secretly in love with.  He would cut our lawn with a push mower every Saturday during the summer, and I would have to 'suntan' at the same time  (sigh)  or during the fall,  put on my go-go boots and dance on the fireplace hearth to  "These boots are made for walking"  hoping against all odds that he would walk by and see how cool I was and then fall madly in love with me too.
Sadly  (or happily) it never happened--he's 3x divorced with 10 kids now.  He still stops by to visit my parents when he is in the old neighborhood.

We had weird neighbors --- the  Maxwell's....they didn't like all the neighborhood kid games, such as Kick-the-Can, which went on well after they were in bed and we could never EVER ride out bikes into their driveway to do a turn-around.
We had scary neighbors --- Mrs. Orman, who my mother insisted on inviting to Thanksgiving dinner year after year.  "She's just a lonely old lady Debbie"  "She's a witch mom--  A WITCH" .

But the strangest experience I had with a neighbor was as an adult and involving banana bread. 
We had been living in  Los Banos, California for a few months and I was lonely for friends, so I decided to make banana bread and take it around to my new neighbors. 
Most of them were very receptive to me and my banana bread. (I do make good banana bread)     One of those neighbors is a good friend to this very day,  20  years and 2 towns later.

My next door neighbor tho, a lady who never opened her curtains  (beware of someone who doesn't like sunlight), opened her door --just far enough to stick her face out--and let me explain that I was bringing banana bread as a get-to-know-you gift,  listened to my invitation of:  "you could come over for coffee or tea sometime and we could visit,"  then   snatched the banana bread from my hand and said  "oh I don't do that" and shut the door in my face.

It was one of those awkward moments when I wondered if I was on Candid Camera.
I guess honesty is the best policy....she didn't want to be neighborly.
We laugh about it to this day.

Do you have any funny neighbor stories?


An update!
Every Tuesday morning at 6am, I have coffee with my 'old'  (and different than the banana bread stealing neighbor)  neighbor and friend Debbie E.
We've been doing this for years.....over 10.
We just arrive in our jammies and our coffee cups and visit and discuss the ways of the world and we make it all right.
As neighbors we  used to have afternoon iced tea, but when I moved, we never saw each other  (run in different crowds), so we decided to make the time...
on  Tuesdays, at 6am.
Every Single Tuesday, except Christmas and New Year's Day.
We've visited thru children graduating from high school, children marrying, having grandchildren, parents passing away. 
We've been there....talking it all out.
I LOVE Tuesday mornings.
With a neighbor.

(I just had coffee with her this morning, and realized that I needed to mention how much I like that)


bermudaonion said...

We have had our share of strange and great neighbors through the years. It's what make the world an interesting place.

Sadie said...

We had the neighbor in our apartment in Stockton that had a dead duck draining in their bedroom. We thought that was weird.

In Idaho our neighbor was named Dan. We called him Dan Dan the trapper man, because I think he went hunting a lot or something. He used to have this thing that the stuck in the grass to make worms come up that he could then use for fishing. It freaked me out. Perhaps thats the root of my fear of worms.

Laurie said...

How wonderful! I too have quirky and fun neighbors for whom I'm grateful, and just this morning I had coffee with one. Sort of. He was talking loudly on his speaker phone with the windows wide open while I sat having coffee in my yard. I now know a lot of unnecessary details about his travels next month. Does this count? :-)

Melynda said...

I knew all the neighbors when I was a kid, even the old ladies that had houses that smelled of kerosene, from oil lamps that they kept in case of a storm and the power going out. But since my own kids have grown and I work away from home, sadly no. No quirky neighbor stories, oh no, do you think I am the quirky neighbor???!!!

Karen said...

Seems like every neighborhood has one old witch in it LOL When I was in my early 20's we lived next door to the sweetest older couple ever. They were both retired... she a cook in a hospital and he had been a cook for a jail. I had a huge tabby cat (Tiger... but then all my cats have been named Tiger) and Pete, the older man, was allergic to cats, but *loved* them, so Tiger spent most of the day with Pete & Velma, sleeping on Pete's lap. They'd buy food for him and he had his own dish at their house. They're both gone now, but what sweet memories I have of them.

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