What do you think? Do good fences make good neighbors? What does that cliché really mean? Like many of you, I can recall “different times” from childhood which compared to “these days” . . . and am thinking of unlocked front doors, neighborhood parties, knowing each and every neighbor by name . . .
Our neighbors were our friends and we were, as they say, there for one-another. I didn’t know many of my neighbors where I last lived, and actually got to know some of them when they saw the “for sale” sign go up and got curious.
I’m a friendly person. It seems to me, though, that we or I anyway, get so busy these days with all that we “do” and many of the people I know from church, from work, from this meeting or that have said something about not really knowing their neighbors . . . I can recall there always being someone to chat with, to play with, to lend a hand to. If my dad was doing yard work, home repair, adding an addition to the house, there was usually one or two neighbors who’d come over and help.
Mom never had to worry about where we children got our Halloween candy from. She knew all the neighbors. Several of the neighbors, my Mom included, would make homemade treats. I can recall one or two neighbors who had cans of beer on the ready for the Dads taking us kids out while Mom was home giving out treats. I don’t get many kids to my house anymore . . .
I can recall Mom sending me to school with food for my teacher . . . something from the garden or something she baked. I wonder if teachers still receive such gifts and if they fear eating them? We have a lot of those kinds of fears these days.
So, the question remaining to be answered is “do good fences make good neighbors?” I don’t know the answer, but in looking at my neighbor’s yard from my deck which was my vantage point in snapping the photo this piece began with, I’d have to say I’m glad that he left an opening in the fence to invite folks in. Life is different today in lots of ways. Some changes are good, but . . .
Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.