Welcome to the July installment of our year-long essay series that explores topics to help us all experience a more mindful, present, and connected life. This month, Community Operations Director Chad Reed reflects on neighborliness and the numerous occasions he and his neighbors have looked out for one another.
Pass the Ketchup, Please
My family loves ketchup. Apparently, our weekly menu is full of items that need ketchup. Last week, we grilled burgers, baked French fries, and rang the dinner bell. The kids hustled to the kitchen as I pulled open the fridge door to get the condiments, only to notice that we were quite a few squeezes shy in the Heinz department. Uh-Oh.
Thankfully, we have great neighbors and a ketchup bottle was just a stroll and a conversation away. Our neighbors have come to the rescue for other “uh-oh” moments over the years that have included eggs and butter, which my wife has returned in the form of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.
Great neighbors and true kindness make a great community. They always seem to be there when you need the smallest — yet most essential — of things. That certain tool, just a bit of gas to finish mowing the lawn, jumper cables, an extension cord, another crock pot, or folding chairs.
They’re also there when you’re not home. How many times have you called your neighbor to see if your garage door went down? Or when they’ve sent a text to you after dark reminding you that your garage door is still open? A couple dozen times for my family.
They’ve grabbed my newspapers when I’m out of town, picked up a parcel that’s been left on the front porch, brought my trash barrel up the driveway, and pulled the weeds just out of sight on the side of our yard. It always amazes me how neighbors are so resourceful, helpful, and always around.
One evening last fall, I was the first to make it home and let the ruler of our house – Lilly, our 10-year-old Lhasa-Poo — out the back door. I went on to sort the mail, turn on the Diamondbacks game, and tackle a few small chores. Sometime later, my son made it home with friends, and we’d all been in and out of the front door a few times when it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen Lilly in a while.
I ran around the house calling her name. “Lilly, Lilly, come here girl. Lilly, get a cookie, Lilly!”
Not home, gone. I raced out the front door and looked down the street. Nope, not there. By now, I’m in full dog-search mode.
A few moments go by and I get a text from my wife. It’s a screen shot of a Facebook post from a new neighbor a couple houses down holding Lilly up over his shoulder with the caption, “Has anyone lost this dog?” Again, a neighbor saved the day.
I would love to hear your neighbor stories. What things have your borrowed? What have you shared with your neighbors? Have you ever been a hero and saved your neighbor’s day?
There’s nothing quite like the kindness of a neighbor. Here’s to being a great neighbor and the stories ahead. Cheers!
Other articles in this series:
January: Welcome to a Bright New Year
February: Passion & Possibility
March: Curiosity & Creativity
April: Turn Your Passion into Action
May: Words of Wisdom
June: Always There
July: Pass the Ketchup, Please
August: The Moment of Truth
September: Being an Adult is Overrated
October: Why we Fall in Love with Autumn in Arizona
November: Practicing Gratitude
December: ‘Tis the Season for Magic
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