Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Neighbor

I live in an old area of town, but the homes on my little block are all new homes. Mine is two years old. On the right side of me sit four new houses. On the left side of me is a house that was built in 1962. A little square house. I learned tonight it used to be bright green!! :)

My neighbor who lives there is a very quiet fellow. In fact, in the 1 1/2 years we lived here we've only waved and said hello. He's one of those people who are sort of scary, before you get to know them.

Today I saw him with lots of stuff in his front yard, and I wondered if he was moving or being forced to move. I took my trash out, and our houses sit so closely, that we just happened to end up about face to face when I opened my door. I said, "well, hello L." He said hi back, with more enthusiasm than usual!

So on my way back in, I said, "hey L. are ya moving out or is somebody moving in?"

Low and behold, forty minutes later.... I realized that L. isn't so scary of a fellow after all. The man has a four year college degree!! He is living w/o electricity. He said it really isn't so bad, though he'd rather live w/o it in the winter than the summer. (speaking from experience) He was thankful he had his water still on, because it was rough to live w/o water. The banks want to take his truck because he can't make payments on it. He is paid up on his house, but obviously not his truck or the electricity.

The man makes $10 a hour at a nearby gas station. He's applied everywhere for any thing and hasn't hardly heard back, except for rejections.

He's made bad choices. Has bad friends. He said he's helped all these friends out, and all they do is steal from him. He said his friend broke in and stole his can of chicken. He said, I just wish they would have left the chicken for my cat! He said, "I've helped so many people out. I just wish some time they would help me out."

I know L has made choices that have led him to this life. But you know what, for many of us.. we aren't too many paychecks away from a similar lifestyle. I mean, if the bank takes his truck, then how will he get to work? If he looses his job, how will he make his house payment? Then if they take his house...then where is he?

Amazing how much I learned just listening to him. I've lived here 1 1/2 years, and in less than forty minutes, I know more about him that I did the previous 1 1/2 years!

Just makes me thankful for electricity, water, and the food in my pantry! All the extras that I been wishing I could have, but can't afford... well, in the end that doesn't really matter, does it?

I hope L. can keep his house. I hope L. can get a job in his degree. I hope L. has something good come his way ASAP! :)

DH is out of town for a meeting and he called and asked what I was doing. I said I just talked to L. for forty minutes. He hollered.. "What?!" He's never even exchanged more than hello with him. Maybe we can help him out, some how, some way. He said he'd let us mow his grass, that will at least keep the town off his back.

Thanks for listening, I had to tell somebody.


LoriRay said...

Oh wow, Sara...your caring ear was probably a huge help to that man. Bless his heart! And bless yours for being a good neighbor.

I will keep L in my prayers. Please keep us posted on him.

You're right -- we could all easily be in the same situation. Thanks for being there for him, for making me think, and thanks for making me remember that I need to thank God for what we have. *hugs*

Carolyn NC said...

I'm sure the fact that someone was willing to listen to him made a huge impact on him. Hope things turn around for him.

Lisa said...

Sara, thank you for sharing your story with all of us. It is an inspiration - on one hand, it teaches me that helping others, even with a caring ear, is important. And it also reminds me to be thankful for what I do have...clothes on my back, a roof over my head, electricity, food, healthy kids/DH/, laughter. Something that this economy reminds me and I try to teach my boys is...there are things in life you may feel you "need" but in honesty they are probably "wants". My 90yr old grandmother teaches me, that during the depression they didn't have a lot of money at all - but she didn't "want" for anything because she was fed, had clothing on her body, had a roof over her head and had so many playmates (all the family lived in separate houses but in the same block). She always says, the best life is lived simply.

Cindy F. said...

We never know what people around us are going through. I truly hope something wonderful comes his way soon.