Monday, February 7, 2011

Making Mr. Rogers Proud

When we moved into our current home five years ago, one of our new neighbors warned us gently about the guy across the street: He didn't care for cats (not a problem) or kids (maybe a problem). We noticed right quick that he didn't care much for a friendly "hello" either. But we've acquired no cats, kept the kids out of his yard and avoided subjecting him to neighborly chit-chat, and in return, we've had no complaints from him. Good enough!

He can't be that bad, because he did take the time to come over shortly after we moved in, and let us know that our perpetually flooded driveway did indeed have a drain, and he pointed out where he thought it was. I thanked him happily, and I intended to thank him again with a plate of goodies, but never got around to it, of course. Until Monday morning, it was the only time I had conversed with him in five years.

He DID report us to the police once, but so did pa-lenty of other households within a one-mile radius. (No exaggeration. Turns out illegal fireworks can be mistaken for gunfire or worse. Who knew?) Anyway, we suspect he was one of the ones who called, because he was watching from across the street as the police came to the door, which was thrown open by six ecstatic children (and one mother with a camera) expecting to see Santa Claus.

(Bless Santa's heart, he had arrived at the same time as the police, and was waiting around the corner for the dust to settle. Except when he did finally come to the door, the children refused to answer it. Go figure.)

SO just Monday morning, I happened to be taking kids to school right when he & his dog were outside, and the dog came barreling across the street towards us, barking and growling. The poor man had no choice but to come collect his dog. I figured I'd better say something, which ended up being:

"So, is this a new dog?" (Because I really couldn't remember ever seeing it before.)

And he replied, "No, I've had him for six years."

I think that's a conversation that'll hold us for another five years, don't you?


bestgrandkidsever said...

Maybe he didn't know you've actually had four kids for five years until yesterday? Bet he loves that there will soon be another one!

Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes said...

Man I can so relate to strange-o neighbors. But seriously, it makes me sad. Isn't it kinda sad? To be alone and lonely? So bored you call the cops on your neighbors 'cause you're spying out your window? And you don't want to be friends? And you're so particular? Isn't that kind of just a sad way to live?

Jill said...

I love it! Way to be neighborly!

Mrs. B said...

Would you believe that the very day I posted this, he came over again? It was to ask about someone who had been walking around the night before with a flashlight, knocking on doors (it was a newspaper salesman, and I had thought about telling him - the salesman - that it was way too late and dark for that sort of thing . . . but of course I didn't). This totally threw off our chat frequency ratio, but really, we ought to be doing more to be kind neighbors than just staying out of the way.