Life goes on. And it is good.
I never expected to miss my father. He was an extremely difficult man, to say the least, and became even more difficult after my mother died in '96. But, to my surprise, I do miss him. Time has a way of softening the dark memories, allowing the good ones to shine through. For that, I am grateful.
|Whatever happened to good neighbors?|
My husband was on the side of house chopping wood when this tiny little bit of a woman, less than five feet tall, came into the yard yelling, "Helloooo." She was wearing a long duster-type coat, or at least, it was long on her. Very long. She was looking for some help finding an address that was written on a piece of paper. There was also a phone number on the paper, so my husband told her to come on into the house, and we could call the number.
Pow-ee visited with us for almost an hour. She's quite the chatterbox, and even though her English is a little broken, we enjoyed talking with her. She was really fired up over the strange lack of neighborliness in this country, although she didn't put it in quite those words. She said she just doesn't get it. Says where she comes from, neighbors are like family, and will do anything they can to help each other. Then she told us about a couple who live next door to her now. How they'd asked her to call a taxi for them, and she gave them a ride instead. She gave the woman a ride to work, and would've been willing to do so every day, because, after all, they're neighbors.
But the next day, that woman passed her by with no acknowledgement. Didn't look at her. Didn't say hello, didn't wave, nothing. As though she didn't know her at all. Pow-ee doesn't understand how anyone could treat her this way. Neither do I.
She spoke of another neighbor who's ignored her request that he not plant trees on the edge of her property. Even after the police got involved, this neighbor continues to thumb his nose at her and does whatever he wants, without regard or respect for her. She doesn't get it. Says where she came from, the elderly are always respected.
Is she right? Have Americans forgotten how to treat each other? Yesterday, Grammy got on her soap box in an "L is for lunacy" rant about the lack of civility and empathy in today's young people. Is the disconnect between neighbors just another manifestation of that? Or do some of us still know how to truly be a good neighbor? I certainly hope so.
Our new friend came back to visit today. She didn't stay as long this time, but she came to bring us several bags of Oriental treats. After all, she said, we're neighbors. She says we're "her kind of people." I think I like that. And I think I'll bake her some chocolate chip cookies this weekend. After all, we are neighbors.
When I was a kid, there was a small farm not far from our house, and behind the tiny barn was a small mountain of mule manure. Some of us kids thought that was a great place to play king of the mountain. My mother was never impressed with my aroma when I returned home from one of those ventures, but my father claimed to love the smell of manure. Said it was "good luck", and a "walk through the tulips." If he were still here, I would've had to buy him one of the products I'm about to tell you about in this week's weirdest news story. He would've loved it.
See y'all on Monday. Until then, take care of yourselves. And each other.
|What's that smell?|
Weirdest news story of the week: You're gonna get a three-fer this week. The first story was one I passed over last week, but decided to bundle it with two others I found this week, for a genuine bovine trifecta. In the first story, a young German girl wanted a horse, just like almost every girl dreams about at one time or another, right? But when this young girl was denied the horse of her dreams, she settled for the cow her family already owned. Not only does this young lady saddle and ride that cow, but she's even trained it to jump hurdles. The locals have gotten used to the strange sight of this young girl trotting the countryside on her cow, but it seems that her parents are now considering getting her that horse she wanted. In the second cow story, a couple tried to board a plane at JFK airport this week with a dead cow in tow. The carcass was neatly wrapped, but the staff denied this couple their odd request. (TSA never said anything about dead cows!) And now for the third story, and my personal favorite. A German company has recently come up with a new product that's scored a financial home run for them. Called "Countryside Air to Go", it's a can filled with "the air sucked out of an aging wooden stable, straw-lined and filled with gas-producing cattle." As the company's ad says, "Simply put your nose to the tin and peel back for the authentic smell of the country." That's right. It bears the distinctive aroma of cow farts. Evidently, former country-dwellers who've had to move to the big city miss the ol' scent of home and have been forking over five pounds a pop for the pleasure of snuffling up the pungent aroma. Know anybody you'd like to grace with this unusual gift? Check it out at http://www.stallduft.de/ Oh, and word has it that the company is planning to add products bearing the smells of horses, pigs, straw, and manure. My father would've loved it.