My Mommy #2 grew up in this neighborhood. It was a new development when her family moved here, and all of the houses had KIDS that all went to school together and played together. Plus the street ended at an orchard next to this house so it was like being on a court. They'd be outside playing until late. It was SAFE and fun. And the parents never really worried about their kids because the other parents were keeping watch as well. It was a very comfortable environment.
But times change. Kids grow and move away. Parents age and die. The orchard is torn down and the street now is a thoroughfare.
We don't KNOW many of our neighbors. Oh we know the ones over the back fence because they always share their fruit harvest with us. There is nothing like a big bucket of oranges to chase the winter blues away. We also know the people in the house to the right of us because they have been there since Mommy #2 and the Aunties were children. Actually, the dad was a child at the same time as my Mommy and then he moved away - then his folks moved away - then he moved back when he got married. And across the street was his aunt and uncle who Mommy had known for more than 30 YEARS. But the aunt died a couple of years ago and the uncle went to live with some of their kids and we no longer know the people living in the house. It has been a constant rotation since the aunt and uncle left.
But that is about it. In this DAY and age, it is rare to know many of your neighbors. No one really talks to each other because they are always RUSHING here and there. In fact, recently my Mommy was telling her friend that she didn't know what she would do in an emergency.
Well, yesterday she had the chance to find out. Mommy was multi-tasking: cooking dinner, collecting trash. answering work emails, and so on. That means not one thing had her FULL attention all the time. she was at a point where the soup needed to simmer so she decided to take out the garbage and put the containers at the curb for collection in the morning. So Mommy grabbed the ELEVENTY BILLION bags and containers and carried them ALL out to the side house. I don't know how she does it - it's a MOM thing, I think. Well as she put down the bags so she could put recyclables in the recycle container and trash in the trash bin, the door to the garage closed. Mommy gasped, tried the doorknob - LOCKED! Oh No! Normally that door needs to be slammed in order to close but this time is just gently shut. NORMALLY Mommy checks all of the locks as she goes through the doors so she does NOT get locked out. But this time she had her hands full - DUH!
Then Mommy did something she almost NEVER does - she panicked. She had food on the stove and two INCAPABLE OF HELPING dogs yapping inside the house. She had also left her phone on the table. She said some HBO words and then ran around the front to see if by some miracle she left the front door unlocked. She did NOT. To compound the problem, all of the windows have locks and blockers so no one can get in via a window. Even the glass patio doors have a block and cannot be shummied off the runner. She had NO WAY into the house. So in a complete panic by this time, she ran across the street (after looking both ways, of course) to a neighbor she DID NOT KNOW and rang the bell. When the man opened the door she explained who she was and what she had done and asked if she could use his phone to call one of my Aunties. HE DID NOT HESITATE! He went right inside and got his phone so she could use it. And he tried to make her calm down because he said if no one could come they would figure something out.
MOMMY did get a hold of my Auntie who could NOT get home in time but who reminded her that there was AGAIN a spare key in the secret hiding place because SHE had replaced it a month ago. In her panic Mommy had totally forgotten about the spare. So Mommy hung up the phone and explained to the neighbor that there was a spare key in a hiding place so she was good.
Then Mommy introduced herself to the neighbor and apologized for not doing so earlier (like YEARS ago when they moved in). She also thanked him for so readily helping her out in a crisis and that it made her feel good. She was embarrassed at doing something so DUMB - but she was also happy because she got to meet the neighbor AND find out that in a crisis he has her back.