Monday, March 13, 2017

Microblog Monday - Loving My Neighbor

Growing up, our next door neighbors were our dearest friends. I called them Aunt K and Uncle B. If my mother wasn't home when I got off the bus from school I went next door and played in their basement. Uncle B. taught me how to hammer a nail--including how to swear if I missed and hit my thumb. I was told that the words "Shit! Goddamnit! Shit!" in that order was the only way to respond when I missed the nail and hit my fingers. That being said--those words were only for that occasion. I believed that until I got to middle school.

Our neighbors were Catholic and we were Jewish. Every Christmas morning for years we went over there for breakfast where Santa had dropped a bunch of gifts under their tree. Because my parents were on vacation out of the country, Aunt K and Uncle B knew that I became engaged to D before my parents did. I grieved when Uncle B passed away and I still stay in touch with Aunt K.

Because we had such wonderful neighbors I learned how to be a good neighbor. Our across the street neighbors (our house was at the end of a street) were not as wonderful. They loved leaving their car right behind ours even though multiple cars could and did fit into their driveway. They were snobs and told my mother to "watch out for the silver" when I invited my multi-racial group of friends over. But they were our neighbors. Many was the time I would come home and mom had made chicken soup. On the kitchen table was one or two extra containers filled with my mom's chicken soup. She'd tell me to take them next door or across the street because they were sick. If there was death it was a macaroni casserole with our name in masking tape at the bottom of the Corningware pan. This was reciprocated. When I was sixteen, I vented to Aunt K about my crush and how he didn't know I existed and on and on and on.  After giving me a wonderful and nonjudgmental ear, I came home on a very cold day to see a pint of Haagen Daaz chocolate chocolate chip ice cream on our front stoop. "In case of heartbreak," the note read. "open pint. Take spoon. Ingest."

I am lucky that the streak has continued. We have wonderful neighbors. Our next door neighbors teach Lotus about flowers and plan to teach her about gardening. Across the street comes over with their snowblower--often--to dig us out. We say thanks with chocolate chip cookies and brownies.

Love your neighbor is at the center of just about every religion. Help your neighbor.Take care of each other. This is why the Republican Health Don'tCare plan astounds me.

Republicans are supposed to be moral. Where is the morality of telling people that if you aren't white you don't deserve health care? Where is the morality of taking health care from people who need it most. Republicans are churchgoers far more then Democrats. Were they absent when they taught that page from the Bible?

Health insurance is moral to me.  If I am healthy I want the money I pay into insurance to go to help someone who is sick or who, God forbid, has a sick child. If you want health insurance to only cover you, and not your neighbor you have no right to call yourself a good person--regardless of religious denomination. One man asked why men need to be paying for pre-natal care. Was he immaculately conceived? Isn't it a good thing as a nation to have a healthy populace?

I will be calling my congressman and senators and explaining that I want my neighbors healthy. I want my family healthy and I will work like hell to unseat anyone who votes for this bill. I hope all the Americans reading this.

That being said--what are other neighborly things that you like to do?


  1. As a kid, we always had nice enough neighbors. I think I probably interacted with them far more than my parents did. I've had a variety of great and totally horrible neighbors as an adult. Right now we have some nice neighbors, but we kind of live our own lives, but definitely at the holidays send things over. But as far as day to day, I really have no clue what's going on with them. We sort of stay to ourselves I guess. We're not overly social anyway, and definitely looked for a home where we had our own space and privacy. After years of being in a smaller home with smaller spaces and everybody knowing your comings and goings and business, it was time.
    The house on the other side of us has been vacant since we moved in.
    Sometimes I just feel the need to bake-it relaxes me. But then I end up with too much to keep in the house so I send the kids off to drop off goodies. My kids also go around and see what they can help with when they see lots of neighbors out doing yard work, setting up for a yard sale, stuff like that.

  2. I'm my tax dollars have always gone towards health care for all and I cannot imagine it any other way. I am lucky to be healthy, but I ABSOLUTELY want my share of health coverage to go to someone who isn't healthy and who needs it. I don't understand any other way of this whole ordeal in the states completely baffles me.

    I had wonderful neighbours growing up - they were kind and involved. My parents worked long hours so I didn't necessarily learn to be a good neighbour from them, but from my good neighbours themselves. They were the ones reaching out to the three girls next door and I am still in touch with so many of them. They're like an extension of family!

  3. I give cookies to my neighbour. I like her a lot, though I miss the family who lived there before them, too. They were muslim and we had a great symbiotic relationship with food because we were both hallal/kosher. We could share stuff all the time. And the guy used to shovel my walk if Josh wasn't home.

    I feel the same way about health care. I think if everyone actually had to live out other people's lives, they would make very different decisions about what they want covered.