Being Neighborly

We moved a few months ago and so, we have new neighbors. Nowadays, I understand that most people don’t want to have anything to do with their neighbors. This is quite different from how I grew up. In the trailer park, we had lots of neighbors who we knew well. We helped each other out because that’s what neighbors do. I still know most of those neighbors even though I’ve been gone from there for over 23 years.

Things have changed, even here in Appalachia where in the past, anyone could just about always count on someone helping out. The days of asking your neighbors for help or sugar or anything really is gone, I’m afraid. Here is further confirmation of that: my new neighbors waved at me when I waved at them for the first few months after we moved in, until our giant pine trees starting dropping needles and cones on their cars. We had no idea of the problem until the landlord who owns their property paid us a visit. The landlord was extremely nice in asking us to trim the trees back, but I wondered why the neighbors who I see outside at least 3 times per week hadn’t just mentioned it to me. What’s funny about all this is that I had noticed for a few days that now, when I waved, the neighbors did not wave back. In fact, they turned their backs on me when I waved. I thought that was odd, but not unheard of. But now, I suppose they are withholding their pleasantries because of our trees. We are looking to have the trees trimmed very soon, but we had no clue they were causing so many problems.

Since the landlord’s visit, I’ve been puzzling over why this happened. Is it because people are scared of each other? Why have we become so detached? How can we get that back? When did this happen, and why?

At the end of the day, we are all pretty much the same, regardless of religion, political party, or favorite color. But I have never felt so far away from my neighbors as I do right now even though they are literally 15 feet away.



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