Thursday, February 05, 2009

stepping up on my soap box...

***Stan, I guess I need to clarify~~~~ My point about M was not that he is single and has extra time to help his neighbors. Yes, I realize we take on responsibilities when we own homes. My point was that he had a POWER snow blower that he was using while 3 of his female neighbors were using shovels and he never offered to help. He put it away and watched us. I guess I can not put my mind around that selfishness!! It is being self~absorbed whether he is single or has a family. {But at least if he had a wife and kids waiting to see him after a long day at work, I could understand not offering. But to stand and watch. If I had a power blower, or the energy to do more with my shovel than the many hours I had already done, I would have just gone up and down the sidewalk clearing every one's sidewalks. So would my husband. Without a second thought. It is just the neighborly thing to do.

Ten years ago, when Steve and I were planning on building our first home, we desperately wanted to have land. We wanted to be out, away from the cookie cutter houses of the sub~division. Unfortunately in the area we live unless you have an endless supply of cash, this is not possible. The land is devoured by the developers and house after house is thrown up as quick as possible. So we settled. We picked out a lot in a new sub~division and then picked out one of the cookie cutter house plans. We told ourselves it would be good fro Michaela to be able to just walk out and have friends to play with. She would have classmates nearby. There would be neighborhood comraderie. We would look out for one another. Be neighborly.

Sadly, the ice and snowstorm we had last week certainly proved to me that being in close proximity to one another does not necessarily make us neighborly.

On Wednesday, after inches of ice fell on top of inches of snow, I was outside shoveling the front walk and driveway. For hours. There were two other women out doing the same thing~~trying to get as much done before our husbands came home so that they did not have to shovel after working all day. Around 5:30 I saw our 'neighbor' M pull into his garage. Just to give some background, M is a single man who works a desk job. No family. No responsibilities once he pulls into his garage. He leaves his work at his desk. I continue lifting the heavy snow and ice and in a minute or two I hear a snow blower start up. Out comes M blowing off his driveway. 15 or 20 minutes later, the blower stops and M is done. He puts the blower away and then stands in his driveway WATCHING. W.A.T.C.H.I.N.G!!! I was IN SHOCK. I could not imagine putting my snow blower away without offering to help my neighbors. Especially when I have NO FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES. No one is waiting to see him or for him to fix dinner. Unbelievable. I finished up my walkway and offered my help to the others.

And if wasn't bad enough, our next door neighbor shoveled his sidewalk and I think he measured to make sure he did not inadvertently shovel a millimeter of our sidewalk.

I am not saying that I am entitled to have others do my work for me. Not at all. What I am saying is that it dumbfounds my how self~absorbed we are as a society. This is so evident in the workings of this sub~division; this tiny community. If a neighbor's trash can rolls into the road, we don't stop and move it. We get annoyed and drive around it. If our grass gets too high, we do not just ride our lawn mower over and mow it. We hold onto the anger for two years and verbally attack the home owner when they return from overseas. (that's an entirely different post!). When snow needs shoveled, we clean our part making sure we do not do an inch too much.

The neighborhoods of Wally and Beaver are definitely a thing of the past.

Stepping down off of my soap box now. Being careful not to fall~~~cuz' ya' know, none of my neighbors would stop and help me up.