Welcome to the neighborhood.

When new neighbors move into your neighborhood, aren’t you supposed to do something nice for them? Shouldn’t you bake them a pie, or take them over a fresh, hot casserole? I think that’s how it used to be done. I’ve never had the privilege to live in such a neighborhood, so I’m not exactly certain if that sort of thing still occurs between strangers.

These days, I don’t know that I’d eat something a stranger made. People are so weird, and crazy, maybe I’m included in that mix?! But then again, if I were to make something for a new neighbor, I’d feel bad if they didn’t eat it because they thought I might be unsanitary. However, there are about 1001 things most people cannot eat these days, so you’re probably also hard pressed for your creation to please everyone’s palate.

Nearly two weeks ago, the rental house next to me was graced with new live-ins. I was slightly frightened and nervous as rental and this neighborhood typically spells unsavory. Much to my surprise the intended occupants seemed normal from a distance. I saw a mother with a few children. Seemingly harmless on the surface. But my imagination tends to get the better of me from time to time so I had concocted a myriad of scenarios in which these newest tenants would be a nightmare on my street. 

A knock at my door or a ring of my doorbell will send the dog into a frenzy. She’s trained to ward off visitors of any kind. IF you happen to be the UPS, FedEx, or mailman you will get an extra viscous bark and you will be thankful there is a closed door between you and pup. Most door visits are from solicitors trying to sell you new siding, kitchen cabinets or they’re trying to spread the good word. Much to my surprise it was neither of those, it was my new neighbor and one of her kids. 

She introduced herself and her middle school aged son as my new neighbors and wanted to know if they could rake up the leaves in my yard. For a second I thought I was being punk’d, but those five seconds quickly went by and I realized she was being truly genuine. Sweet! She said her son would be glad to rake them up to get them out of my way. This timing couldn’t have been better as collecting them was on my to-do list before the rain set in making them a wadded mess to clean up. As he was out there raking my leaves, I felt a twinge of guilt. I don’t know these people and they are offering to rake up my yard. Do I pay them? Is this just generosity at its finest? Perhaps so. 

The greatest thing was to find out she is a kindergarten teacher at my old elementary school. How cool? Well, you might think ‘not so much’ but I have never met anyone who actually heard of where I spent my formative years. And yes, I’m a nerd.

So here’s to neighbors (nice ones) and generosity. Pass it on! You never know how you may brighten someone’s day.