Finding good neighbors

When my son Doug and I picked the acre where we now live, the entire end of our street was up for grabs. This meant that we wouldn’t have a clue what kind of neighbors we were going to have. If you don’t think that should be a major concern when buying a property that will be your home, think again.

Thinking about writing a column concerning “neighbors,” I realized I’d need to write more than just one column. Looking back on the “day” I have had my share of problems in this concern, but I will begin the first with those who live around us right now, not a hundred years ago. Eleven years ago we were the first to move into our house at the end of the block.

Then a single man bought across the street. A few years later he married and now he and his bride have two adorable youngsters, a boy and a girl. They have their property beautifully landscaped It’s wonderful to have people like this who take such good care of their home. But more than this they are kind, caring and giving Christians who have set an example for all of the rest of us.

These fine folks raise chickens and have kept Doug and I in eggs for years. Ever crack open an egg and have that yolk look up at you and smile? These fresh eggs do just that and I appreciate more than I can say this nice gift. More than this, however, is the fact that they live by example and I couldn’t ask for better friends. Then next to them a schoolteacher with a young daughter moved in.

For the first few years this teacher and Doug worked together to build patio additions on both houses. For a few years her daughter came to our home after school for what was usually about half an hour until her mother got home. Her folks came to visit and reciprocated what we did by having us for a couple of crab meat dinners unbelievably delicious. Ever have fresh Pacific crab meat right out of the ocean?

Beside us a young, single girl entered the picture. She had a job working nights as a technician at the hospital. Again we had someone really nice close by. And she, along with the other neighbors, had a dog. All told there were six of those barkers adding to the neighborhood. And we all got along famously. Of course there are always changes.

The young teacher married and moved away. Right now new folks are busy redoing her property with a handicapped entrance and other nice additions. It’s always a good sign when people immediately improve a property and we are looking forward to our latest addition to our end of the street. Then, next to us, the technician decided to move to Washington State and sold the property to a young couple.

They, like our friends across-the-street, also have a little boy and girl. You couldn’t ask for nicer friends and well-behaved children. Their little boy and girl always talk to Doug. Whenever he’s outside, they always want to help him with the gardening. Their mom and dad, along with the couple across the street did so much for me when Doug was ill a couple of years ago, that I can never thank them enough.

These two also manage to send “goodie” things our way when they come back from vacation. Fresh tomatoes from California have ended up in our kitchen. Doug and I have tried to reciprocate whenever we can for these kind gifts. More than the “gifts” are the kind acts these young people nest door, and our neighbors across the street so often send our way. There is something far more valuable and more precious than gold.

I’ve discovered that more important than finding the perfect house in the perfect place is having neighbors who move Heaven and Earth to help whenever needed. It’s been such a blessing to have them as friends, not just neighbors. God bless them all.

In closing, I’d like to ask a favor. Even if you regularly give money to Churchill Animal Protection Society, they’re in need of extra food for our four-legged friends. If you have extra animal food at home, or if you can send them a donation, it will be appreciated.

Those kittens and puppies deserve a nutritious meal when needed.

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at


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