Good Neighbors

by Pamela Goode

Chalk Drawings

Good Neighbors:

Put your newspaper on the porch if it looks like rain.

Don’t let their dogs sit on your flowers.

Offer to run to the store when you have the flu AND small children.

Use the back door.

Sit on the porch with you and watch the world go by after a long day.

Smile and wave when you’ve invited three friends and six toddlers and a couple of dogs to set up kiddie pools and hoses on the “beach” you’ve made in your shared driveway.

Leave fresh fruit or veggies or flowers by your door sometimes without even a note, because a gift is a gift and they’re not in it for the recognition.

Leave sweet hellos and chalk drawings “just because.”

Walk your dog when it’s raining because they’re walking theirs anyway and they’re already wet.

Don’t look at you with the sad pity face when they hear you have cancer or have lost a job, but walk right over with a bottle of prosecco and a funny movie and say “Get on the couch, we’re gonna laugh for a while.”

Thank you for planting and pruning and weeding and making the neighborhood all homey and happy, and order a pine straw delivery as a thank you.

Notice when they haven’t seen you in a few days and knock on the door to make sure you’re okay.

Don’t call the police when you really need to blast out Earth, Wind and Fire and DANCE for just one song.

Love it when your kids knock on their door and ask for a popsicle.

Will laugh and claim they were awake anyway when your alarm accidentally goes off at 3 AM two nights in a row.

Share cuttings of Aunt Myrtle’s heirloom perennials.

Always wave. Because nothing beats acknowledging the existence and validity and humanity of those we live among, and we all very simply need that.