I've been thinking about neighborhoods. Yesterday afternoon I walked across the street to visit Judy, my older neighbor. I took her her mail and a container of strawberries from our garden. I'm not a gift bearer, usually, but I remember that's how neighborhoods used to be, and I've got a neighbor, Jennie, who is a gift bearer and now my friend, and I want to spread the good neighborly energy. Judy and I talked for an hour while her portable air conditioner blew across the room to cool us down from the 87-degree weather. For the Seattle area, 87 is hot.
While we were in San Antonio last week, I read Voluntary Simplicity on my Kindle. I've been drawn to simplicity and frugality and living in alignment with my values for the last few months, as I started to plan my post-work activities. Right now our garden is burgeoning and there are strawberries in the freezer and we ate our first two ripe blueberries this afternoon. We pulled out the finished broccoli plants and tossed them to the chickens next door, who were quite appreciative. We extracted six eggs from their house and will have them for breakfast tomorrow morning.
But, back to my topic, the idea of neighborliness is pulling at me. Judy said that in the 80s our neighborhood was close knit, but in the 1990s some people died or moved away, and the new neighbors were closed in (us, for example), busy with work and families and not inclined toward neighborliness. I told Judy I was embarrassed by the quality of neighbor I've been, and I intend to change that. It's wonderful to have time during the day for such purposes.