An Ode to My Neighbors: My Safe Haven in an Uncertain Time


Having good neighbors makes all of the difference.

neighbors, a man and a woman, meeting over a white picket fence

Thank you, Sandy and Carlos …. for allowing our girls to play together during a very scary time. And for never judging me as the windows opened in the Spring and you heard me yell. And for watching both of our children to give me a much-needed breather at my breaking point.


Thank you, Richard … for charging my car battery after it died from sitting too long. And for all the fresh vegetables and herbs from your garden. And for mulching our leaves every fall.


Thank you, Norma … for your kind words when you noticed our sweet chihuahua wasn’t around anymore. And for listening to me cry about having her put to sleep.


Thank you, Jeff … for bringing in my mom’s trash bins. And for noticing when her ladder or leaf blower is out and tucking it away, so it doesn’t get stolen.


Thank you, Kim … for always being kind when my daughter knocks on your door and wakes up the baby. And for letting her raid your refrigerator.


Thank you, Carey and Stephanie … for singing karaoke in our driveway. And for having such awesome decorations and giving my kids way too much Halloween candy.


Thank you, Zarah … for always asking if we need anything from the food co-op. And for sending a kind word to check on us every few weeks.


Thank you, Mom … for climbing the hill from your house to ours twice a week at the crack of dawn to watch the kids while we go to work. And for engaging my whims in an instant when a home project inspiration strikes. And for being inspired when I cannot be, and stepping in and making the costumes for my kids when I just can’t muster the energy.


Two neighbor girls, from behind as they hold hands and walk down the street together


When the country gradually started to lose its mind in early March, I thought I would too. My community … my neighbors … carried me through. They still do. The community we found right here on our little block in Affton, MO has become a safe haven. We show up for each other. And when I lose faith in humanity (as I have many times this year), I can always look to my neighbors to restore it. I don’t know who most of you are voting for or if you even vote. If you go to church, I do not know which one, and I don’t care. Weeks can pass where only smiles and waves are exchanged. But we can always knock on each other’s doors and be met with generosity, kindness, and understanding.


Did you get to know your neighbors better this year? If you didn’t, it is not too late. I hope you will find the same comfort I have.