For the prompt at Poets United – Neighbors.


We live out in the country on a deadend,
cul de sac’ed road.
There are eight different families on this road.
The houses are separated by thick hedges, not fences.
We wave when passing a car or each other
on our morning walks.
We keep to ourselves.
It is a quiet road with no children.
Pets stay in the houses or in their yards.
But when my mother died,
somehow they knew.
A jar of homemade jam tied to the doorknob,
A bouquet delivered to my door,
several cards stuck in the mailbox.
I share tomatoes when I have extra,
they share extra cucumbers and squash.
My favorite kind of neighbors –
unobtrusive, quiet, polite,
casually friendly –
but there when you need them.


Monday Musings – Random Kindness – Raggmunk

free public domain image

free public domain image

I am always amazed and delighted at random acts of kindness. Last night was no different. The neighbors to our right rarely speak except an occasional “hey hey” and a throwing up of their hand. The neighbors across the way always never visit but often speak, shout, and in the fall, came over and just on the spur of the moment, helped us rake our yard. We are down a short, sparsely populated road with a cul-de-sac and often, except for the random passing each other in the car or seeing someone outside as one is walking, we are all self-contained units.

I was trying to decide what to fix for dinner last night. I was at that stage of being in a food rut. There was a knock on the door and the tall, blonde male neighbor from next door stood there when I opened the door. We both smiled and I invited him in. He said his usual “hey hey” but thrust a warm, disposable container into my hands. “Enjoy” and left. I called “thank you!” after him and he threw up his hand.

I opened the foil and there, in all its amazing looking, incredible smelling glory was something that looked good to eat but about what it was, I was clueless. I put it on the kitchen table and called my husband. He came, looked, sniffed, whistled and then pulled a small piece of paper from the foil I had missed. “This is raggmunk. It is Swedish. Enjoy.” and signed. By the last name, after 14 years, I found out my neighbors are Swedish.

I also found out this is one awesome dish! I immediately googled for the recipe. I don’t know where they obtained the ligonberries (I think they had been frozen fresh) but we scarfed it up. It made me glad I always share my summer tomatoes with them. Fourteen years and several bushels of tomatoes later, I find out my neighbors’ last name, that they are Swedish, and that in spite of their reticence, they are kind. This summer, I think I will knock on their door, say “hey hey” and hand them a disposable container of my father’s recipe of fresh peach cobbler, throw up my hand and head home.

We all have different neighbors, we all are different types of neighbors. Which kind are you?

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