Monday, October 15, 2007

Helping Hand

For all the jokes about one’s neighbor, we have been fortunate. Not that our neighbors don’t have a have a sense of humor, most do, but we feel blessed to be living in a home surrounded by great neighbors. Choose your neighbor before you choose your home, so goes an Arabic saying and I am glad we did exactly that. When BigGeek and I were looking at houses, the agent showed us this one. The house was smaller than what we wanted, had no garage which again we wanted, but I was happy to see neighbors chatting and kids playing in the cul de sac. It was an older tree lined neighborhood that did not have that impersonal look of newer developments. One got the feeling one could ask a neighbor for a cup of sugar or call on them in an emergency when in these days and times most of us hardly even know who we live next to. And I am glad we moved here.

Small things. In February while BigGeek was away at school, my car got stuck in 2ft of ice (not snow) because the stupid ploughs piled up the snow and slush in front of our driveway in the middle of the night which froze completely by morning and which my stupider self thought I could go over. And got horribly stuck. It was early, most people had decided to stay home I thought. But the ever adventurous me got out the shovel yet again and began chipping at the ice wall but instead slipped and fell and hurt my jawbone so bad I was deaf for a day. M saw me do it through her kitchen window, and sent her teenaged son to help me (ah, how I longed for Chip to be high school) and then came another neighbor M1 and between them they had chipped the ice and got my car out. Later when A (more about V and A in a bit) heard the story, I got the third degree from him for not crossing the street and asking for help.

Big things. V and A live across the street. Their daughter T2 and Chip shared a nanny last year and we have been friends ever since. And now that BigGeek is still not up a 100%, V has been picking up Chip from home and dropping him off at daycare everyday. I know what a hassle that can be. She has two daughters to get ready and with two full time jobs there really is not a minute to spare. Also, when BigGeek had the heart attack we had just changed Chip's school, so Chip was still adjusting and drop off must have been harrowing. But they did it and still drop him everyday.

Last week, A came to pick up Chip instead of V. Chip was not ready and my MIL got so flustered that A (who she did not recognize immediately) was at the doorstep and Chip was not dressed, so without hesitation A helped her dress Chip. And they bring delicious soup. And care. A few days ago, Chip and I and my MIL went to the library to return long overdue books. BigGeek was still at work. When V came in she saw our driveway was empty. She called that instant to make sure everything was OK.

Hesiod once said -A bad neighbor is a misfortune, as much as a good one is a great blessing. I know the blessing part is right on, hopefully I will never have to be that unlucky to find out if the first bit is true.

18 comments:

Poppins said...

Neighbors - absolutely. I remember growing up how annoyed I would be that our neighbors were always dropping in borrowing things etc, and my mom would never say No.

I would get super mad at her but later I realised that this was their way of socialising, cos that cup of sugar was always followed by a half hour chat. And I have countless stories of how they have helped each other out.

I'm so glad that you have something similar in your neighborhood, in today's world it is a rarity. Treasure it !

NainaAshley said...

Like Poppins, growing up, I hated neighbours dropping by unannounced and poking their noses into everyone's business. But now I do miss the comaraderie. Our neighbours are nice but everyone around here is very formal. You are lucky to have such great neighbours.
BTW, this is my first visit to your blog. I read a few older posts and really enjoyed the blog. Can I add you to my blogroll?

~nm said...

We would do anything to have those kind of neighbours! The ones we have are so self centered that if I start telling you the incidents, it will become a Ramayana in itself. So I will restrain ;o)

Enjoy thee neighbours! :)

noon said...

You are truly blessed there!
People assume that in this country neighbors don't help out - I think it depends on the people - there are nice people every where.
BTW - you have been tagged on the engagement story!

Anitha said...

You are blessed! That was a good choice you made, compromising on the house rather than the neighborhood.

DotMom said...

poppins: thanks.. they are treasure.

naina: gosh.. we have a few formal neighbors. thanks for visiting my blog and liking it. I had no idea one needed permission to add a blog to blogroll :) I have blogrolled everybody I read. I suppose that speaks a lot about my netiquette. Have added you to my feedreader!!

~nm: pray tell. i always like a good gossip :)

noon: don't given get me started on assumption people make about 'this' country. like ~nm said, it would be a ramayan.

anitha: and I would reccommend that to everyone :)

choxbox said...

we've also been lucky with neighbours. all my preconceived ideas abt how folks here dont care were blown to smithreens in a very short time.

choxbox said...

(typo again up there, sorry)

DotMom said...

choxbox: so glad to know that.. you remind me of BigGeek sweating over typos in comments :)

I love Lucy said...

That is one area where I have had no luck whatsoever!!We barely know our neighbors and though we know many people,they hardly classify as good friends...you know,the kind that you can hang out with.

Mahendra said...

"Ask about your neighbors, then buy the house." is an old Jewish proverb.

Also, Chesteron said, "The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."

I'm glad that's not true in your case! :-)

BTW, why don't you move to Wordpress? Commenting on blogspot with this quiz every time is such a pain. Wordpress filters spam comments automatically with ease...

DotMom said...

i love lucy: try having a bbq and invite them over?

mahendra: thanks for correcting me. maybe i need to find a new quote finder? about Chesteron, the quote reminds me of my MIL (she is a sweetheart though). I have thought about wordpress simply because I like the templates better. I have a family site hosted and I have been toying with the idea of switching there. sorry about the spamguard.

ddmom said...

Wow, you are blessed to be surrounded with such wonderful neighbors. There are so many assumptions one makes about this country. People are not family oriented, people don't love their kids just because they sleep them in their own kids and what not.
Anyhoo, about neighbors, so well said. We bought a house in a non-so-Indian neighborhood few years back. One day we heard a sound in the backyard to see our neighbor, a very old lady probably in her 90's switching the water sprinkler on. She had hit the calling bell couple of times, I was in the shower and missed it. She did that just so that the grass would not dry. I was speechless.. And in about 10 minutes, she came back to give us freshly plucked apples from her backyard...

Anonymous said...

Ok, it's about time I made a comment on your blog, esply now that you blogged (or shd i say bragged) about us :)
We are the neighbors, V and A.
Frankly, it’s the least we can do. I know you don't keep count...but i have to say this -
I can't even begin to count the all times we've piled on you for dinner
the countless times you've offered us a taste of your delectable delights that would make Rachel Ray shy ,
the fact that we can just talk about stuff,
give and take advice (hopefully not unsolicited ;)
for graciously offering a nanny-share (which gave me and A a worry-free, wonderful 10 months and T2 a sickness-free, loving place),
for continuing with the veggie-share despite being so disappointed with the veggies, or the lack of :(
Anyways, I can just go on and on and prolly just start a new blog about how you guys have been there for us...
Now's a good time as any for us to formally J thank you for being the archetype neighbors...
And the award goes to...DotMom and BigGeek

Usha said...

It is wonderful to have such neighbours and this in a place so faraway from home. Well, at the end of the say the home business is all about having caring people around right?

DotMom said...

anon-who-is-really-v: we are very lucky.

usha: absolutely!! right on.

Mahendra said...

Hey, I was simply quoting other quotes, not correcting Hesiod's one - that's perfectly valid, no corrections needed! :-)

DotMom said...

mahendra: oh. good:)