Loss: When Good Neighbors Move

My neighbors have up and moved. I tried my best to convince them they’d never find neighbors like us again… and yet they persisted. We moved into this neighborhood 5 years ago, and the warmth of this couple has radiated across the street ever since. Oh, the borrowing...

Eclipse Brings Neighbors & Friends Together

I didn’t expect it at all but, for that instant, a wave of emotion shot through me. The lump in my throat was unmistakable. How amazing to look directly at the sun — no blinking, no squinting, eyes wide open. Looking it dead on. That was something. Lucky me to...

Does Your House Welcome You Home?

This was my front door in 1980. Oh, how I loved that door. Oh, how I fussed to get it just right. Carefully measuring and mixing together different shades of orange and yellow for that vibrant sunburst. Our cookie-cutter house finally said “Welcome.” In our formula...

Neighbors: Unsung Heroes of Everyday Life

The day was cold and rainy… but no one cared. Even though we needed anchor rocks on outside tables to keep tablecloths from flying away, dozens of neighbors huddled together in our garage this weekend for the neighborhood semi-annual picnic. Neighbors came out...

Stress and Sunflowers — Opposites

Ten feet tall and rising. Every morning for two months we’ve watched the evolution of these magical plants, from 1/2” seeds to the monsters you see here. I can practically see these giant sun faces move from one inch to the next. Let’s see — from a 1/2” inch seed to...

The Comfort of Knowing Your Neighbors

The doorbell doesn’t ring often at our house. “Dropping in” doesn’t happen much anymore, so it’s a nice surprise when it does. It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m in the kitchen with the fridge open, mentally sorting out leftovers for dinner. Ding… Dong…...

Neighbor Nods Reduce Stress

A wave and a smile are simple gestures that reap big rewards. Time gets precious when life is filled up with working and playing and household chores; talking to the neighbors might be the last thing on a busy mind. As overwhelming as this may seem, it’s...

Paying Attention to Wake-up Calls

Nothing wakes you up faster or more urgently than a phone call at 4am from a neighbor saying, “I think something’s wrong. My leg won’t work. Please come.” Nothing wakes you up faster than a cry for help and the unknown scenarios racing through your head. I answered...

Neighbors Help in Crises – Nov. ’06

The landscape is littered with nature’s fury. A poetic ending to a whale of a wind that swept through my part of the world this week. As the power outage dragged on, it was heartening to have neighbors that are ready to help no matter what. We had a stove that worked,...

have a Stay-cation – June ’06

Piggybacking my last Clue… now that you’ve made a teeny dent in converting your living space to more of a sanctuary, you could go a step further and plan a summer vacation at home for a change. Personally, we’ve been thinking about this lately because money is...