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Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009 Edith Morris


Catchword Corner

February 2008

Who lives on your street?

Do you know your neighbour? Do they know you? I've been thinking about this since I heard of an Australian man who lay dead in his apartment for a year before he was missed. And in America a family of 4 were not discovered for two weeks. Could it happen on my street I wonder?

Our section is bordered by 5 houses with maybe 15 or more people and 3 dogs between them. I would recognise only two or three of them, neighbours I mean! The others I could pass on the street or at the supermarket and not know they are my neighbours. How come? Well, on one side the ownership has changed at least 6 times in 8 years. The united nations have trouped in and out of the house in that time. Over the back are students, again all I know about them is their loud music and that they speak a variety of foreign languages too. I know more about my neighbour's dogs, the sound of their lawnmowers, and the state of their gardens. I would recognise their cars more than the people.

On the other side we have lovely old fashioned neighbours who watch out for us as we do for them. We collect their paper and mail when they are away and welcome them home again. We know their birthdays and the state of their health, and when they come and go. We love them because we know them and interact together on a daily basis.

Up the street lives a man who was in the Navy when the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, not far from him lives the two sisters who's father owned the land our neighbourhood is built on. Then there's the young lady who paints holding a brush with her mouth. There's the hospice nurse, the teacher, the Pastor, the lady who works in the Mall, the lady from the garden centre. My neighbours. They make up my community. They are fascinating, interesting people.

But my question still remains hanging. Would I notice if they weren't there any more? I wonder? There are moving trucks up and down the streets on a regular basis. On most mornings by 9 o'clock houses are empty of occupants who have gone to work, school, or somewhere. In this day and life style it is so difficult to know and love my neighbour. What a sad state our community is slipping into. Any ideas what can be done about it?