Good Neighbors

Chalk Drawings

Good Neighbors:

Put your newspaper on the porch if it looks like rain.

Don’t let their dogs sit on your flowers.

Offer to run to the store when you have the flu AND small children.

Use the back door.

Sit on the porch with you and watch the world go by after a long day.

Smile and wave when you’ve invited three friends and six toddlers and a couple of dogs to set up kiddie pools and hoses on the “beach” you’ve made in your shared driveway.

Leave fresh fruit or veggies or flowers by your door sometimes without even a note, because a gift is a gift and they’re not in it for the recognition.

Leave sweet hellos and chalk drawings “just because.”

Walk your dog when it’s raining because they’re walking theirs anyway and they’re already wet.

Don’t look at you with the sad pity face when they hear you have cancer or have lost a job, but walk right over with a bottle of prosecco and a funny movie and say “Get on the couch, we’re gonna laugh for a while.”

Thank you for planting and pruning and weeding and making the neighborhood all homey and happy, and order a pine straw delivery as a thank you.

Notice when they haven’t seen you in a few days and knock on the door to make sure you’re okay.

Don’t call the police when you really need to blast out Earth, Wind and Fire and DANCE for just one song.

Love it when your kids knock on their door and ask for a popsicle.

Will laugh and claim they were awake anyway when your alarm accidentally goes off at 3 AM two nights in a row.

Share cuttings of Aunt Myrtle’s heirloom perennials.

Always wave. Because nothing beats acknowledging the existence and validity and humanity of those we live among, and we all very simply need that.

10 thoughts on “Good Neighbors

  1. Hi Pam, I know we really don’t know one another, but I follow your blog, admire your art and really admire you, as a person and fellow human. Your writings make me smile, cry and appreciate my life, with all the craziness and shortcomings that come along with it. I wanted to reach out and say hello and let you know you are in my thoughts. I wish you all the good things life has to offer, and more. Hugs.


  2. My Mom and our neighbor were going through “The Change” at the same time. One day, our neighbor called threatening to eat the entire chocolate cake she had just baked. Mom, knowing the remorse that would follow an act of menopausal mania, bopped on over, and together they consumed the 3-layer-fudge-filled-mega-cake in less than an hour.

    The moral is: good neighbors time their body clocks to go through menopause together and share the craziness.


  3. Wow. Two things come to mind for me (and there were so many more): 1) After a potentially fatal car accident but one I walked away from, I was sad, couldn’t seem to get out of it quickly – had also lost my law firm job – a good friend took me to the movies a few days later. “No questions, no excuses” she said, “I’ll pick you up @ ____”, didn’t say where we were going, and so I trugged along, in a creepy state of being. We saw “The Hangover”. I can not begin to tell you how hard I laughed. Everything was okay. 2) Years ago, I rented a mother-in-law apartment in a private home in NY from people I barely, barely knew. I was in transition, again. Younger couple. They had a veggie garden in the back of their property. Every other morning throughout the summer, I opened the patio doors to a bowl of fresh picked veggies. It was amazing. Neighbors and good friends – and often strangers – can re-route our lives with tiny gestures. Life can be very, very good when we pay attention.


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