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Posts Tagged ‘neighborly’

I Worry

I’m one of those people that worries about everyone else. For example, if I don’t see the regular checkers at the grocery store, I wonder if something happened to them, not if maybe they’re enjoying a day off.

I live in a mobile home park that, while an all ages park, has about sixty percent of the residents over the age of fifty-five. Most of these people have been here for a long time, even before I moved here almost ten years ago. I don’t know many of them but I know their faces and I know when they walk their dogs and where they live. I also know that, just like I am older now, so are they. Those sixty something people are now in their seventies.

Just before Thanksgiving I was telling my daughter that I was worried about this one man, I don’t even know his name, who always stopped to say hello to me when he was out walking his dogs in the morning and evening. I hadn’t seen him in a long time and I was afraid something had happened to him. She said someone would have said something but neither she nor I know many people here so we might not have heard. Then one morning shortly after that conversation, as I sat looking out the window, I saw him walk by with his dogs. I was so happy to see him. I texted my daughter to tell her. Then I didn’t see him again for a long time. I began to worry again because when I saw him that last time, I thought I detected a stoop and some slowness. I didn’t want to mention it to her because she might laugh at me again. This afternoon, I was coming home and I saw a truck coming down the street toward me and I was pretty sure it was his truck even though I’ve never seen him driving, only walking. It was going really slow, like maybe five miles an hour and I had plenty of time to pull into my driveway but I waited for the truck to pass so I could see if it was him. It was! And from a distance, I saw him smiling at me and waving. I rolled down my window and stuck my head out with a big hi!

I don’t know his name. He doesn’t know mine. I’m pretty sure he lives alone although there might be a relative there because I noticed a very new and very big SUV in his driveway for the past few weeks. I’m thinking a relative might be staying with him or perhaps caring for him. I figure this coming week I will try to find out more. It’s not like me to go knock on his door but I can ask Henry, the maintenance guy here, because he lives directly across the street from him and he knows everyone.

I have also noticed that Lori doesn’t go out much anymore and when she does, she is quite stooped and uses a walker. Even a year or two ago she walked nice and tall and used a cane. I think she’s probably close to eighty. And Irene across from me is rarely out anymore. She’s not much older than I. She loves gardening and reading and used to spend a lot of time reading outside in her front porch because she is also a chain smoker so she read outside. I haven’t seen her. I saw her husband today but he’s not very friendly and I’m not fast enough to run outside when I see one of the neighbors out the window. But I do want to make an effort to find out about Irene and Lori.

In fact, I want to talk to the property manager because I would like to see if we can start some kind of a program, like Neighborhood Watch, for older people and for those of us who live alone. We need to be checking on each other. When the weather is cold or snowy, or when it is very hot, we need to be checking on each other to see if we are okay. We also need to know if someone needs help getting their trash cans out to the curb or their mail picked up or grocery shopping. We need to do for each other and there are a lot of teens in the park that might be willing to do bring cans to the curb and back out each week, not because they’ll get paid for it but because it’s the decent thing to do.

I would like to make that a project this year.

 

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