Ever since we moved into our condo way back in July of 2006, we’ve had these awesome neighbors that live across our sidewalk and upstairs. They are a family of five: what I presume to be a mom, dad and three kids (teenage son, younger teenage daughter, and elementary-school-aged daughter). They work in the athletic industry; perhaps they own a gym? I’m not sure, but I know the mom is a personal trainer.
We’ve never formally introduced ourselves, so while I think they know our names because we’ve mentioned them, I only know about half of their names. Isn’t that sad? But now I’d feel like an idiot asking them what their names are.
Like I said, we’ve never had any kind of “formal” introduction, nor have we ever gotten together to hang out. But they always say “Hi” when they see us, and we like to chat when we see each other. The mom is especially personable. The kids never seem to argue or fight with each other. As it turns out, they homeschool, which makes the peace more understandable.
I’ve hired the teenage son on several occasions to pet-sit for us while we were out of state. He’s always really serious and professional about it, and I don’t know what I would have done without his help. The mom always goes ga-ga over Munchkin–after all, she’s seen Munchkin grow up (albeit from an observer’s perspective). When we had a big snow last winter, she lent us one of her sleds so we could go sledding. That family is always happy to help out.
Which is why, upon learning that my car battery was dead this morning, I went to them. Because while I HATE asking for help because I feel like I’m such an inconvenience and bother, I knew I needed it (the van is in the shop, so I couldn’t use it to jump the battery, plus I have errands to run today), and I knew that they wouldn’t turn me away.
I rang their bell and was horrified to learn that they just woke up (not horrified that they aren’t morning people, but horrified that I possibly woke them from their slumber). But after learning my request, they happily obliged by getting dressed and coming down to help. It turns out that their vehicle wasn’t working either, but they had a car battery charger to lend me. They even plugged it in to their own electrical outlet because the cord wouldn’t reach my condo (my car is parked right in front of their porch).
Neighbors as friendly and helpful as these are more valuable than anything one could ever buy.
Now my car is working again and I’m wracking my brain to figure out how to show them my appreciation. Not just for this latest round of kindness, but for nearly three years of it. How do I give these warm fuzzies back? My first inclination is to bake something yummy. Home-baked goods are warm, tasty, full of love, useful, and not gaudy. But I’m scared that one of them has some kind of allergy and won’t be able to eat (or worse, share a room with) something I make. How can I nonchalantly ask them about any potential food allergies without sounding suspicious? Heh, I don’t think it’s possible. I suppose I can just take a chance and gift them some banana bread.
They still don’t know we are moving soon (a combo of it not coming up in conversation and me not wanting to jinx it). I kind of feel bad, too, because it’s always a little upsetting for a community to go through change, and while I’m sure we weren’t “model” neighbors, we weren’t bad ones either, and I hope, for their sake, nobody crazy moves into our old place. But there’s nothing we can do to affect that. I just hope they are blessed with happiness, because they’ve given out a lot of it themselves.