Being Neighborly

Yesterday, as my next-door neighbor was leaving his house, I stuck out my hand to ask him to stop.  He is a white haired gentleman who lives with his 2nd wife and his son from his first marriage.  I know it is his 2nd wife because his first wife died while living in the same home.  I found out two months after she died.  The story then swirled through the neighborhood slowly that shortly after, he had headed north to his childhood home, and become reacquainted with his high school girlfriend, marrying her.  At some point, they moved back into the home next door and began their new life.

That is as much as I know, so that should tell you something.  One thing I enjoy about our small neighborhood is that we don’t get into each other’s business.  At least, not at our house.  Have no idea what they say about me at the other homes, nor does it interest me.

The point of my blog is that I think it is one thing to allow your neighbor their privacy, and another thing to ignore them altogether.  That is what I felt I had been doing for the past…ummmm….several years.

So I stuck out my hand and stopped him.  I said that I knew I had not been a good neighbor to him.  He replied quickly that nor had he been a good neighbor to me, which took me by surprise.  I just shook my head, and said I’d like to change that.  One of the yardly duties I enjoy is blowing off my driveway.  We leave in a forest and there is a regular covering of limbs, brush, leaves, small twigs – you get the idea.  Lately I’ve been venturing on  the front of their driveway.  Cleaning the opening, and then behaving like Scout, I shoo away, fearful I suppose that Boo will jump out of the shrubs to scare me.

I asked if he minded if I blew off his driveway when I was taking care of mine.  He responded kindly and graciously.  Have at it.  I smiled and thanked him.  He returned the smile and the thanks.

It took me several months to get the nerve to even ask.  How odd that is to me.   It was past time for me to be neighborly.