About 3 months ago, two properties adjacent to ours were put on the market.
The first house was a foreclosure, currently owned by Fannie Mac. We expect this property to be on the market quite some time, as it has not been updated since the original owner bought it in the early 1960s. We have nicknamed it the squirrel condo, as the 15-foot rotted facia along the roof line has been chewed by the little tree rats, and they have gained access to the attic. We also call it a beehive, as the siding is so damaged and rotten that bees have infested all accessible areas and chase any lawn mower away from their protected territory.
The first time a contractor came to mow this property after it was listed, they damaged our lawn with an eighteen foot arc that cut through our sod and destroyed our lawn up to a foot and a half over the property boundary. We estimate the actual value of this home to be about half the listed price, and pray any potential buyer has the wisdom to have an independent inspector check it over before signing a purchase agreement. We have reported the roof line to the city environmental officer, who is supposed to enforce codes that would require repair.
The other property, an identical house to ours without some of the add-ons this house received, just sold. I met my new neighbors today. Continue reading
Typical small town street. Image public domain via WikiMedia Commons.
Richard Nelson is 81. He is a widower, a veteran and my neighbor.
We went away for a few days. We returned unexpectedly late in the night. We were in our house less than 15 minutes when the phone rang. It was Richard.
“Who is this?” he asked when I answered.
He was calling because he thought we were out of town and saw lights on at an unusual time. He knew troublemakers don’t answer the phone, so he called to see if he should call police.
The next day, I took Richard some applecrisp and homemade jelly to thank him for being such a good neighbor. Alarm companies have nothing over this man!
Why do people look out for others? Why do we care if our neighbor is in trouble?
Because it is the right thing to do. Because we want someone to care for us, and we understand these things to be reciprocal. Because that inner voice we all have sometimes speaks loudly to tell us we are all connected in our humanity. We are all neighbors. We are all family.
When was the last time you did something kind for someone just because you could? Look out your window and ask yourself, “Who can I reach out to, and how can I encourage them to pass it on?”
Richard looks out his window all the time. I will always look out for him.