I gotta tell you about my neighbors. So far, we’ve been blessed to have kind neighbors in our complex. It’s such a joy. In my neighborhood where I lived raising my children, we had good neighbors who always stopped and said hello, who supported each other when death or sickness came around and who smiled and talked.

To show you how our neighbors were, as we got older and the neighborhood began to change, there were undesirables who moved in across the street from us. My husband never meets a stranger. So, no matter how we felt about them, he spoke and carried on conversations with them. They would always say, “Hi Reb.”  They called me Miss Stan. My husband would bring home food from his job and share it with neighborhood people. Well, they’d come over and ask if he had anything for them to eat.  He’d give hotdogs most of the time and some bread and a few snacks if he had them.

Gardener raking fall leaves in garden

Well, one day when he came home from work, they yelled across the street that they wanted to talk to him.  “Reb, Reb,” they said as they crowded around him. He said, “Yeah, what’s up?”  “Reb, your mother-in-law came outside and made us rake and clean the whole block!!” My husband smiled trying not to laugh. They told him that my mother who was living with us at that time, was outside raking up leaves. They were sitting on their own porch and she walked over there and said, “Get up and come over here and help me out. You’re not doing nothing anyway.” They were so shocked that she said that, but they got up and with rakes and garbage bags in hand she made them clean the lots and lawns of everyone on the block. As soon as she let them go, they raced into their house and closed the door. From that day, if they saw her outside working, they stayed inside until she left. They helped her out and were respectful to her.

There are two little children who live in the apartment across from me. The day them moved in, I was sitting at the computer right next to my doorwall. The little boy walked up to my screen and smiled. I stopped and said, “Well, hello, what’s your name?  His mom and grandmother thought he was a bother. I said, “Not at all.” He didn’t tell me his name because he was too busy letting me know he didn’t like the nail polish I had on. He said “Why you get that color.” I literally stuttered and said, “I liked it.” He walked away shaking his head. He and his sister play outside all the time. I watch them from my window, watching to see if they are safe.  Their mom and grandmother are so very nice and kind. He’s a little white boy who wasn’t afraid, mean or angry when he saw me for the first time. He was just a little boy, like every little boy with a vivid imagination and full of like. Like my grandson, who’s a teenager now.

If only there were more people like them. If only there were more people like the ones in our old neighborhood who did as that older woman, my mother said and didn’t call her names or harm her. They just did as she asked them to do. If I can help any of them, I will. We’re neighbors. We support each other.

More tomorrow.



Johanna, Erika, Jennifer

You know, I have three grown daughters. I love them each with all of my heart. But can someone tell me why it is that when you and  your daughters are basically the same size, that you can’t keep any clothes in your own closet??!!  I mean really. Case and point. Yesterday, my daughter Johanna came over and asked me if I had some pants for her to wear because she needed them really bad for someplace she had to go. Well, as a mom I said yes I did. About an hour later, I watched as my last two pair of pants walked out the door without me and a pair of my shoes, and two of my tops. Those clothes left me with this message, “I’ll give them back when I’m finished.” I just sat there wondering what I was going to wear. Then, to my relief, I found a pair of beat up Capri pants in the back of my closet. I’m not giving those up. I tied them to me with a chain!

Last Christmas when offices have their Christmas parties, my daughter Jennifer was smiling and grinning on Facebook. She looked lovely to me, until I realized that the dress she was wearing was the one new one I had bought and had never worn. I don’t know how she got it out of the house without me seeing it! She was styling in it so daringly. She still has it and it’s May.

I bought five dresses last year. I usually wear them to church, so they don’t get a whole lot of wear from me. Well, Erika called me several times last year and early this year needing some dresses and shoes to wear for her business events. I had to threaten her to give me back just one of those dresses. 

I am currently looking in a catalog to see how much a barrel and suspenders cost! Daughters, you gotta love ’em.