03:47:02 pm on
Friday 19 Jul 2024

Finding Neighbours
Matt Seinberg

If there is any one good result of the COVID-19 pandemic it is the chance to walk around the neighbourhood almost every day, meeting people not seen for a long time or that we are just, now, meeting. It’s a novel experience; an unintended, unexpected, but welcome, result of the stay-at-home order.

Strolling round our block.

Down our block, on the corner, is a young family; mom, dad and two little boys. My wife knew the former owner, but we had not met these new people. At the start of this staying home order, I was out walking and saw mom and the kids; I stopped to say hello.

It turns out they lived on the block for three years. How is it that we had not seen them before, ever? Probably because on my days off I have errands to run and by the time I'm home, all I want to do is relax; moreover, fall and winter, I'm inside; spring and summer I'm in the backyard.

After talking a few times, we got around to introductions. The children seemed comfortable around us. I told the mom that Melissa does babysitting if she needs the help.

Last week I was cleaning out cabinets and came across a bag of crayons and markers as well as a book, I'm Going Into 1st Grade. Their older son is going into kindergarten, but I put it in the bag anyone. When I delivered the bag, I rang the bell, but there was no answer; I just left it in the door. Wouldn't you know it, I haven't seen them since.

Also last week, I ran into the mom that moved in across the street last year, with her husband and two boys. In all that time, I had seen them, but never met them. The younger boy is into to WWE wrestling and the video game, Fortnight; I follow neither. The older boy is into cars and sports. Maybe one day they'll come over with dad and run slot cars with me.

Admirable chalk artwork.

Living around the corner is a family we've known for years; we’ve watched the kids grow up. The boy is around twelve; his only interest is video games. The girl is nine and sweet. When we saw her riding her bike, we told her that we had admired her chalk artwork she did on their driveway.

We told her that whenever she wanted, she could do some chalk artwork on our driveway, too(above). Wouldn't you know it, a week or so later we came home and there she was doing some colourful artwork; she drew a rainbow and Mickey Mouse.

Today, during our walk, we saw another mom and son that we had talked with previously. We never got around to introducing ourselves, but did this time. I developed a running joke with the little boy, that is, asking him for chips.

You see, when were walking a few weeks ago, he had a bag of chips and I asked if I could have one. He stuck out his hand with a chip in it; we laughed and said thank you. It was still to early in the virus to get to close.

Now, whenever I see them, I ask for a chip. This way I figure he'll remember me as the crazy old guy who always asks for chips. His parents are nice; their little girl is cute. She reminds me of my girls when they were young. We also told her that we have a 19-year-old who does babysitting.

Ready for the sweltering summer.

It's going to be a long, sweltering summer, but I'm not going to complain after the frigid winter. If I have my tent and gravity recliner with a cold drink, music and book in the backyard, I'm a happy guy.


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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