As a child I lived in rural Ulster on a farm, and neighbours were everything. If your cows broke out, they would help you put them back in the field. If it rained when you were ‘saving’ the hay – they would work beside you. If your tractor broke down – borrow theirs.
When I was working in Corporate-ville (does it deserve a capital?) I thought neighbours were an anachronism. There was no need for them in our modern society. How I cringe when I look back.
Well neighbours and community are alive and well!
One neighbour of mine – both her and her hbby are unemployed now -I pop in for a cuppa and hear how she is getting on, what jobs her husband has applied for, how she is coping with the stress – is there any other avenue she/me need to explore?
Another neighbour called over one morning to introduce herself. She brought carrot cake muffins – I don’t want to say she is my favourite neighbour 🙂
Another neighbour, will take my kids for an hour or two if I need a hand. Another neighbour’s son, is very understanding of my son and is one of the few places my son is happy to stay – she understands his Aspergers needs – she has a baby girl who Charlie loves.
I never knew these women 6 months ago. I drove into my house in my 2011 Company car, rushed in, got the dinner pushed into the oven, and generally rushed and rushed until the kids were in bed, then collapsed on the sofa.
Now I have neighbours who drop in. Neighbours who will look after my kids. Neighbours who invite me and the kids to dinner in their house. Neighbours who accommodate my family and especially who understand my son.
I look back now, and I don’t know how I survived without neighbours – who have now become close friends, who live close-by.
I think my pre-redundancy life was a stress fuelled frenzy. I look back and I don’t particularly like who I was then. A solitary figure with no outside involvement. Now my house is a home with kids and neighbours dropping in – always keen to help out, and I am keen to help them out – its neighbourly.