Posts Tagged ‘neighbors’

Oh , this snow and ice — across the whole country!!!  Except for those in Miami and Los Angeles, I guess – but otherwise, for those of us in the northern half of the country and our friends up through Canada, we could maybe do without the white Christmas this year.  Me, I’m angling for a Hawaian Christmas next time.  I haven’t driven anywhere in 8 days, which basically means I haven’t been out of the house.  Today, I probably could have;  Bear (my dog, mostly a Belgian sheep dog) and I walked to the end of the cul-de-sac and up a block to the main arterial, and it was clear and passable.  But there’s still enough ice all through Gresham and the Portland Metro area that you might just as well stay home another day or so if you can.  Bear is so stir-crazy he’ll stand at the door and just whine.

But whining isn’t what I want to do on this posting; I want to talk about the joy of great neighbors, and about the inherent goodness of so many people.  I want to talk about relationships.  I just moved to this cul-de-sac this past June, and the very first day, one of the neighbors across the street brought me flowers.  Another brought over some matches when I couldn’t find any and my gas burners wouldn’t light.   As it turned out, those small acts of kindness were just the tip of the iceburg – pardon my pun in these frozen times.

This week, yet another neighbor  dropped by the pharmacy on his way around to pick up a prescription for me.  The neighbors across the street brought me meals after my recent surgery and, while I was still confined to the couch, checked on me every evening, bringing me the mail and the paper.  The teenage boy next door is going to shovel the snow off my driveway before the new storm system comes in tomorrow night, since I not only left my snow shovel and snow blower BOTH back in Montana when I moved, but I also can’t lift anything more than 10 lbs. for a couple more weeks yet lest I undo the good results from the surgery.  I’ll at least be able to get out of my driveway again, perhaps in time for warmer temperatures this weekend.

None of them wanted or expected any thanks, but I headed into the kitchen anyway – a batch of chocolate chip cookies went to one neighbor, banana bread to another, and tomorrow,  it’ll be fudge for another.  They all tell me, “This is just what neighbors do,” and I know many of my wonderful neighbors back in Missoula would say the same thing.  But it has not always been that way, in my experience, and so when I experience these small  – and sometimes critical – actos of kindness and good will, I just feel like gushing my praise and appreciation for all the world to hear.

It’s about relationships, isn’t it?  Are we kind when we could be and should be?  Do we look out for each other?  Do we do the right things regardless of whether those things get destroyed or even appreciated?  My neighbors sure do; I feel so lucky I was led to buy a home in this particular neighborhood at this particular time. 

I was talking with Mike Cherenson this morning; Mike is incoming Chair of the PRSA Board of Directors for 2009, a board on which I feel honored to serve.  We were discussing a difficult situation, and he started reading me the following poem, which I believe he says came from Mother Theresa.  It immediately reminded me of why I fell in love with Rick; but it also applies, in its own way, to my good neighbors and their acts of kindness.  Here it is, for you to ponder this Christmas season, with thanks to Mike for sending it along:

People are often unreasonable, 
illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
People may accuse you
of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be Kind anyway.
If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and
some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway
If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis.
it is between you and God;
It is never between you and them anyway. 

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