One of the things you discover when your kids are grown and out on their own is that you don’t automatically or easily make friends when you move into a new neighborhood.
You’re not at a bus stop sending children off to school and chatting with their parents. You’re not on the sidelines of endless soccer or softball or baseball games or participating with other parents in the myriad of activities with which your kids are involved.
In the eight years that we lived in Virginia without kids, we got to know only a handful of people on our block, beyond one immediate next-door neighbor.
Fortunately, our neighborhood in East Buffalo Township has proven to be a different experience. From the beginning, when we teamed up with the people from whom we were buying our home to stage a farewell to them, welcome to us neighborhood gathering, we knew this was a different place.
The other day, as the coronavirus outbreak took on increasingly worrisome tones, one of our neighbors sent out a message to a group email one neighbor established a few years ago.
In part it read:
“We are living in unprecedented times. This quarantine will become a part of the memorable parts of our lives, like the Kennedy assassination and the Challenger explosion... although we are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing, hopefully, we don’t have to feel bored or isolated — this email is being used to reach out to our fellow neighbors to check in and remind us all that we are a community and we can overcome this pandemic together.
The note went on to extend an offer to pick up essentials for anyone who needed something, suggested establishing a book exchange with the libraries closed and reminded us that we could “check in virtually.”
As you can imagine, there were many positive responses, including this one from my wife, Mary.
“So good. Neighborliness will be part of the memories of this time, too.”
Indeed it will be.
As we wrap up the second full week of trying to cope with this temporary but difficult new normal, it’s important to remember we are all in this together — even if it mostly needs to be from a distance.
Keep in mind those who might not have family around for support and consider making a phone call or sending an email to someone who is alone.
Heck, maybe you can even offer a spare roll of toilet paper.
The Daily Item news team has been working non-stop to provide local coverage of this rapidly unfolding crisis. I trust you have found it helpful and informative, and again, ask that you support our efforts with a subscription, which can be set up at dailyitem.com by clicking on the subscribe tab.
I have one extra bit of incentive for print readers. Beginning Monday, we are restoring to print the 10 comics we removed during the newshole shortage and high tariffs of 2018. These issues have finally abated.
Starting Monday, the comic strips SixChix, The Wizard of Id, Adam@Home, Phoebe and her Unicorn, Pearls Before Swine, B.C., Carpe Diem, F Minus, Froze and Macanudo will be back on our pages. So will the Bridge column. Also, Dr. Keith Roach’s “To Your “Health” and the Carolyn Hax advice columns will return to their former regular schedules.
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