Cherishing Good Neighbors


I feel a cold coming on. I usually get sinus infections every fall and spring. Fallen leaves grow mold, I think, that I’m allergic to. Tree pollen stirs up my allergies, and I always end up sick in April or May. I hate being sick, even for a day, because it keeps me from walking and doing my work. I especially hate cancelling commitments. I like to keep my word.

I think as a general rule, people in the Atlantic community work hard and keep their word, too. You’re more likely to have good neighbors in the Atlantic community than anywhere on the planet, as far as I’m concerned.

Slim Williams, one of my parents’ neighbors, plowed their driveway every time it snowed for twenty or more years. He never asked for payment. He was just being neighborly. After the 1985 tornado uprooted trees, twisted trailers, and tore out power lines, our neighbor, Ray Stuyvesant, managed to get to a hardware store to buy leathers for his manual water pump. That pump supplied all his neighbors with fresh water until electricity was restored. When my sister, Amy, had a serious car accident in 1997, our dear friend and neighbor, Terrie Marrapese, arrived well before lunchtime with a pot of delicious beef stew. She knew my parents would be at Hamot with Amy, and that my brother and I might not cook for ourselves. She was right.

When my husband and I lived in the Akron area, we did not have good neighbors. They would often leave bags of garbage outside their door for days. And their yippy dog never stopped barking. It just about drove us nuts. I often longed for neighbors like my parents’.

I got my wish. When we moved home in 2004, we didn’t have a riding lawnmower. We own two and a half acres. That’s a lot to push mow. My husband hates yard work, so he put off mowing that spring until the grass was so thick that he could hardly go a foot without grass clogging the mower. Our neighbors across the road heard him struggling, and came over the next morning to mow our yard. Their dad and brother also cut our grass several times during that summer. We finally hired our neighbor’s brother to mow for us, then bought a riding mower the following spring.

But don’t we have wonderful neighbors? Every time they mowed it took at least two hours and they even paid for their own gas. We’d only lived here a month before they started helping us out. They plowed our driveway countless times, too. I feel so blessed to have good neighbors.

This reminds me of Proverbs 27:10, “Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you— better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away” (NIV). I’m blessed to have a loving family that’s always willing to help. But good neighbors are hard to come by. If you have good neighbors, maybe you can take time to thank them today, or at least praise God for allowing them to be part of your life.

Kennard United Methodist Church is hosting its annual Holiday Craft sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 4. They will also sell hoagies and soup. I’ve attended this sale several times. It’s held in their fellowship hall, adjacent to the church. I’ve seen everything from homemade Amish bread and cookies to Tupperware for sale. Local artisans bring wood carvings and handmade jewelry, too. It’s a fun way to spend a fall day. The church is located at 318 Groover Road, Greenville.

There will also be a soup sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on November 4 at Calvary United Methodist Church in Greenville. Maybe you can sample a couple types of soup that day. The address is 44 S. Mercer Street.

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!