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Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Having and being a good neighbor just makes life a little better.

What does it mean to be a good neighbor? To some it means giving people their space and not interfering. To others it means being social and involved. One thing is certain, when looking to buy a home people are always curious about their potential neighbors. “Are they young or old? Friendly or grumpy? Quiet or loud? Are there kids in the neighborhood?” These are just a few of the questions people ask. I understand the curiosity… the people you live among are a huge part of your life and a “bad” neighbor can make life really uncomfortable.

What is a “bad neighbor” you ask? Loud music, blaring televisions, keeping odd hours, driving too fast, and not keeping a tidy lawn, are some of the biggest things that bother people. But those are obvious faults. What else is cause for concern? Leaving trash cans at the curb for days, letting your dog “go” on the  neighbor’s lawn and not cleaning it up. Allowing your dog to bark for hours outside (Don’t get me started on this one). People who allow their young children to run around the street unattended (well, this is just plain dangerous). These points are all self-explanatory and easy to avoid. Come on people!—just be conscientious and kind!

Here are examples of a good neighbor…. those that are looking out for you, that are concerned for your safety and are friendly. I remember moving into our current home. Our next door neighbors came over with piping hot coffee and bagels for us that first morning and it hit the spot. We were very appreciative as we were too busy unpacking to grab breakfast. They are terrific neighbors… we’ve since celebrated many special events with them and are good friends with not just them, but with their extended family. Isn’t that what life is about... making meaningful connections with people?

Here are some other ways to be a good neighbor—share some yummy baked goods like cookies or brownies.… for no reason at all. Arrange a community yard sale—this is a great way to meet the neighbors and be social. Help bring in groceries, shovel a snowy walkway, and be nice to their kids. If your neighbor is ill or going through hardship, visit them and ask them what they need and follow through. Remember the old adage—“a friend in need is a friend in deed.” One more thing—don’t let your dog bark incessantly… it drives your neighbor’s crazy!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mike April 19, 2012 at 02:20 PM
"Keeping odd hours"...how is that a "bad neighbor"?
Ann H Csonka April 20, 2012 at 12:05 AM
There are certainly balances of being there for a neighbor and being intrusive. Obviously, there can be problems with barking dogs. Best solution--all have dogs and all bark sometimes but not incessantly. But, as Mike asked How is "keeping odd hours" being a bad neighbor unless it goes with loud music or something else? THINK -- if you had a medical emergency and went to the hospital at 2 a.m. -- was a nurse there? ... a doctor? other techs? Hmmmm-- they are someone's neighbors who "keep odd hours". If it is quiet at night (because the mowers and blowers and kids and cars etc are all silent) what is "bad" about a neighbor who turns on a couple of lights and writes for a while...or cleans...or does laundry? ...or anything else confined to their property...mostly in their house ... but even sitting on a deck with a reading light (not a floodlight). Why does that bother you? Not your proper mold? Just a couple of thoughts.
Karl H. April 20, 2012 at 12:23 AM
I would not take a neighborhood with a garage band and kids playing in the street as a bad sign at all... ...also, we kind of like it when our nieghbors leave the garbage out for a few days especially during spring/fall cleaning, a lot of good stuff can be found. Like half our furniture.
Ann H Csonka April 20, 2012 at 01:58 AM
LUV IT -- NOW THAT'S DOWNRIGHT NEIGHBORLY! RECYCLE-REPURPOSE...and alive, and human :-)
Ellen Moyer April 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM
"keeping odd hours" doesnt bother all people....these are just some things I have heard from people. Say....you live in a condo and you have neighbor's upstairs that are walking around and playing music at 2am every night...well, this can bother some people. (this goes along with living in a condo or apartment) Kids running around in the street UNATTENDED..that worries people! It's awesome to see kids playing outside, just not in the streets unattended.

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