neighbors

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October 3, 2015 by Ellen V

It was a rough day in the neighborhood. The house temp dropped drastically overnight, and Sidney woke up cold and without her pacifier. Sidney almost never wakes up, so I realize that the occasional night waking should just remind me of my blessings, but I was already a tired lady this morning when I heard the water pouring into my basement.

Eric, with some help later from our landlord, has spent much of today preventing the water we’re still taking on from pooling and trying to figure out a plan to fix the damage and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Because of where some of the water came in, our furnace isn’t really useable and our house is freezing. (By freezing I mean 62 degrees, which is totally bearable, just pretty chilly. Also, we do have a space heater in the nursery. We’re not monsters). So we’re pretty much all cranky/tired/on edge today.

And so what do we decide to do? Go to Mass. Since two tired, cranky adults + a tired, cranky preschooler + a tired, cranky baby = awesome church experiences, right?

Right.

But friends, I want to tell you. People are pretty awesome. Saturday evening Mass here is filled with grandmas, grandpas, and us. We walked in the door, and an older woman immediately gave Jane a pink umbrella because, “it’s more your size anyway, sweetie.” Both girls were on their absolute worst behavior, and the folks both in front and behind us went out of their way to pick up dropped cups and pacifiers and stuffed bunnies, shake hands, and smile knowingly. After Mass, an older man found me in the narthex, thanking me for bringing my children to church. “And make sure you tell your husband, too,” he said. My husband who spent most of the service giving Jane time outs.

Then we decided we’d like to eat somewhere warm and where someone else was making the food, so we hopped in the van and headed to the Mexican restaurant in town. We hollered at a colleague of Eric’s who sings in our church choir, telling him to join us if he felt like it. He’s a single guy, a decade or two older than us, and we had every intention of paying for his meal if he got up the guts to join us. We didn’t think he would, but he was there when we got to the parking lot! And then? He bought our food. Seriously. Who does that?

To top it off, the landlord had put a stopgap in place while we were out to help head off some of the water our basement is continuing to take in. It’s not a permanent solution, but it was so nice to come back and see that it had already been taken care of.

It’s been a hard day, and the rain and wind aren’t going anywhere for a while. But these neighbors of ours, they lifted our spirits. We’re grateful. Happy October!

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