image courtesy of photo

image courtesy of photo

I suppose it was due to my blue collar raisin’ that I didn’t get why Mr. Rogers changed his shoes at the beginning of each show. It wasn’t wet or muddy and he didn’t have a mom or wife yelling at him to leave his clod-hoppers outside. I suppose it was a tradition he learned and he was just tryin’ to pass it on.

It may have been like that in Mr. Rogers neighborhood, but not one of our neighbors when I was a kid wore sweaters with ties… In our old neighborhood ties were for marryin’ and buryin’.

Neighbors and neighborhoods are a peculiar affair in our modern world. Who we end up living with around us, and especially right next door, is like playing the lottery or spin the bottle. We’ve been extremely fortunate or blessed with our neighbors over the years and numerous moves, but that’s not always the case.

When I was a kid, our mom and dad’s best friends had a modern day Hatfield’s and McCoy’s type of feud with their next door neighbors. Our parents’ friends lived in the fanciest section of our little town with the perfect cliche name, “Bel-Air Estates”, but that didn’t make it perfect.

They and their next door neighbors couldn’t agree on whose side of the property line the block fence separating them landed on. That was just the fuel to flame their down right disdain for one another’s families.

That family feud finally manifested itself in a good ole fashioned fist-tuh-cuffs that earned my dad’s friend a black eye. It didn’t take long to figure out that there is no such thing as the perfect next door neighbors… since none of us are perfect… but I’ve also learned that you can come pretty close.

Occasionally in life we have crazy opportunities that we’d never even dream of drop into our laps. Our oldest daughter and her husband live in our neighborhood, down and around the block from us. They live on a corner lot so they increased their chances of getting a good next door neighbor by about fifty percent.

The couple next door to them have lived in their home since 1989. During that time the home where the newlyweds now live was occupied by the sister of the lady who lives next door to them. For sisters who not only love one another but like each other as well, that has to be a once in a lifetime gift.

Time marches on and the inevitable happens in life; change… The neighbor’s sister and husband had to move on and then sometime later the couple that lived next door to our kin, time caught up with. It’s time for them to move on as well, rumor is into their daughter’s house who’ll help look out after them in coming years.

The elderly couple that live next door to the kids had three offers the first day their home was on the market. The fact that one of those offers was from the new bride next door’s younger sister was all she needed to pass the baton and gift to our girls. The next generation of sisters live side by side now.

There are no coincidences in life. Hills and valleys, ups and downs. When a Divinely appointed gift falls in place we just need to be thankful for each day we get to share and enjoy it… Then when it’s time… pass it on…