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Good Friends Make Good Neighbors

05 Nov 10

Everyone should live in a neighborhood like ours.

Our home in upstate New York sits in a development containing about 100 houses in the town of Wilton, about three hours north of New York City. While the forever wild woods directly out our back door and the rolling hills just out the front window make it a desirable place to live, it’s not so much the location, but the people that really make it special.

Like any neighborhood that collects a diverse group of people, there are disagreements. And the political conservatives sometimes try to bait the liberals, while the liberals may tweak the moderates. But whenever something happens, everyone pulls together, often in small yet powerful ways. Kids are picked up from the bus stop when parents are running late. Meals are offered when help is needed. Even money can be raised – countless dollars have gone to many just causes, including well north of $100,000 to help one family cover their crippling medical bills from cancer.

We had a scare last year when Elana had an emergency admission to the hospital. One call to a neighbor and Adam was taken care of for as long as our attention was needed to help with Elana’s recovery (which thankfully was rapid).

Given this, it came as no surprise when concern poured in after the eruption of Mt. Merapi, the earthquake and the tsunami. While Sumatra, the site of the quake and giant wave, is quite a distance from here, most Americans are not familiar enough with Indonesian geography to know for sure that we were safe.

So Beth received many phone calls, from friends and neighbors, all checking on us. And since we’ve been gone, and she’s been alone, she has had dinner and drink invitations that serve to remove her, at least for a moment or two, from an otherwise empty home.

Like I said – everyone should live in a neighborhood like this one.


  1. Gene December 3, 2010 at 8:45 pm Reply

    I felt bad there was no comment, here, yet.

    When I was a wee lad, like you claim to have been, I recall my dad reading through my textbook and remarking in disbelief, “How old is this book?” The text talked about “East India” instead of Indonesia; he was an intelligence guy, by then served a tour as an “advisor” in Viet Nam.

    I mentioned to the teacher that there was no East India for a decade, but got a silent stare in return. Education is a great thing. A few years later, more aware, I read about one million communists killed in Indonesia in the early 1960’s by a fan of JFK.. The story was the dead were of Chinese origin and a threat, don’t buy that now.

    I hope you find a happier culture. We do need to be reminded of what we have.

    Your neighborhood is still here.

  2. DSayer December 8, 2010 at 12:39 am Reply

    I agree! We’re looking out for you, brother!

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