No Minnesotan needs to be schooled on how to be a good neighbor, right? It’s our birthright to be tidy and quiet, mind our own beeswax and bring over a covered dish or essential oil spray when anything strikes.
When I think about all the neighbors I’ve had at various stages of my life, lots of different qualities come to mind but tidy and quiet don’t even make the top ten. That’s not to say a neat yard and peace aren’t important, they no doubt are, but there are different kinds of noise. The thump-thump-thump of a basketball hitting the pavement, dogs announcing the arrival of the UPS guy, moms hollering at kids and/or dogs announcing the arrival of the UPS guy, all that equals good noise in my book. Bad noise is…well, I’m sure there are a lot of examples but honestly, to me, the absence of sound is lonely. I want to know people are alive, living and breathing next door. I don’t need to know everything about them but I feel safer and warmer knowing that lives are being lived, hobbies engaged in, music listened to and people growing older around me.
Connection is nice too and while I rarely miss the opportunity to wish a Facebook friend Happy Birthday I have no idea when many of my neighbors birthdays are and yet they take in my mail, hire my kids to feed their cats and let me know when my dog is on the loose. I don’t think I’m alone. That may be why online social networks like Nextdoor, that connect residents within specific geography/neighborhoods, are growing . People want to connect, communicate and share information with those close to them be it gardening advice, free stuff in the alley, contractor or babysitter recommendations, etc. I asked my friends what they value in a neighbor and they said things like…..
“Someone you can pass with a friendly wave or talk to for an hour. No pressure or expectation either way.”
“Someone who doesn’t judge our crappy grass.”
“Someone who puts up with your incessant remodeling and who sits with your sick kid while you take your other kid to camp.”
“Someone who looks out for your house when you are away.”
“Someone that borrows sugar and comes over for a glass of wine.”
“Someone who sits with my kids when we are making an emergency room run. Or drops off meals when your whole life is turned upside down.”
There are some common themes— friendly with boundaries, empathetic, open-minded, willing to occasionally lend a hand—good qualities in a neighbor, good qualities in people.
RE/MAX Results Collection Home
121 Virgina Street
Located in demand Ramsey Hill neighborhood! Visit this historic brick colonial with a wonderful cook’s kitchen, beautiful double lot with gardens, veranda, and sun porch. Perfectly updated throughout!
by Laurie Junker