Here we are in week 7 of quarantine in 2020. So many of us are cooking and baking things we had never attempted before. But because we have time on our hands, we are trying new things.
Over the weekend, we were driving around looking at houses. We love to do. We have moved so many times due to work or just because packing and unpacking is a great way to burn calories, we have always just loved going to open houses and driving through different neighborhoods. Since the stores are not yet open, looking at houses, gets us out of this place and gets us out in the sunshine. As we drove through old neighborhoods where we use to live and some of where we might be interested when this lease is up, we noticed something spectacular.
In every neighborhood we drove, people were sitting out side in lawn chairs visiting with either family or neighbors. It was a sight to behold. It made me almost tear up. That was one thing I loved about living in CA. People sat out and talked to you as you would walk by. I have missed that so much. That is one thing that I hope doesn’t revert back to “normal”. It would be so great if we realize how much we have enjoyed meeting the neighbors and visiting with others on our streets. Even our kids yesterday when we drove to drop off cookies, admitted that they had enjoyed being outside more and had actually made friends with neighbors they had never met. That just thrills my soul. After all, how can we be a light to others when we don’t take the time to meet them? How can we show the Hope that is ours, when all we do is wave to people when we go to pick up our mail? Well, this post began as a post to give a recipe that is from my Italian neighbor back in the 70’s, but it has become a post of, like Gomer Pyle would say, “just flat neighborly” of ya!
I remember back in the 70’s, my next door friend, Dene and I would sit outside in chairs and our kids would go between her house and ours and run and play until we each had to go in to make dinner. In fact, because her husband owned a barbecue restaurant, she would sometimes call her hubby and tell him to bring enough barbecue for them and for us because we had stayed outside a little long to let the kids play and was too late to go make something for dinner. That was always a treat. The Italian neighbor lived on the other side of Dene and when she would come home from work, she would walk over, and visit with us. It was she (Cam) who taught me so much about cooking and to this day, any time I make spaghetti and meatballs or Chocolate Chip Pound cake, or Pecan Pie (her recipe called for a tablespoon of vinegar, which I had never seen in a pecan pie recipe before), I think of Cam and the friendship that lasted for so many years. It was such a blessing to grow up in a time when neighbors knew each other. Of course, there were always some “weird” or grouchy ones, but of course, that always gave us something to talk about. But our kids were so so blessed to have grown up playing ball in the front yard, and riding their hot wheels up and down the sidewalks. Knowing that when it was dark, or your mom yelled out the door, it was time to come home. They were great growing up years. This last 7 weeks, may we realize that maybe our kids and grandkids need those kinds of days. In fact, we, as adults, need these types of days. When we learn that “just call on me brother” to “lean on me, when you’re not strong, and I’ll help you carry on”. Oh may that not be forgotten in these days of learning just what we are made of and for.
It is my prayer that we don’t go back to the old “drive in your garage, close the door and go inside way of life” Let’s continue to “love thy neighbor as thyself” and care for each other. May we never forget after life gets busy,that this time has shown us just how lovely and loving our neighbors can be. We do need each other. We were not meant to live a life of solitude. Begin now to commit to staying connected to the people you have met during this time of difficulty.