To my new neighbors…

To Whom It May Concern:

(Which is not you, apparently, my could-have-been-dear, new next-door neighbors.) Some advice for you: When someone knocks on your door carrying the best baked goods on the planet, don’t pretend you aren’t home. When your dogs bark and peer through the window at a friendly woman carrying no weapon but a plate of caramel brownies with nuts, attractively nestled in black and white cupcake wrappers on a white plate with “Welcome Home” written all around the edges, you OPEN THE DOOR. You do not quietly tell the dogs to hush– especially when you aren’t as quiet as you think. Hello! I’m standing right here, and I hear you. Just outside your door.

The postman may always ring twice, new neighbor, but I will not.

Actually, I take that back. I have rung thrice. Last week, when I baked caramel brownies with nuts JUST TO WELCOME YOU to the neighborhood, I peeked through my window to make sure your car was there and then carefully packaged the sweet treats, ready to walk them over to your new home while they were still warm. Melted caramel and chocolate and pecans layered between chocolate crusty perfection — “like Disney World in your mouth,” one of my students once said. Still warm. But in the minutes it took me to package them, you drove off.

When we heard your car return, my husband and I gathered the plate and walked to the house just to make you feel welcome and introduce ourselves. (We weren’t stalking you, honestly. We just know how good it felt to us to be welcomed by our neighbors — more than 20 years ago.) Your car was parked, the dogs barked (cute, cute dogs, by the way) and peered at us invitingly through the window, but you did not answer our ring. We rang again, considering it was likely futile because surely you heard the dogs barking, if not the doorbell. We were right. Futile. You did not answer the ring.

So, we thought, still giving you the benefit of the doubt, my husband doesn’t like me to answer the door when he isn’t home. Maybe you abide by those same sensible rules. We decided to wait until two cars were in the driveway. And I froze the brownies to await that occasion.

Which was today. I removed the brownies early this morning to thaw but waited until nearly lunch (this despite the fact that brownies make great breakfast food) before heading over to your house. You had two cars in the drive . The doorbell brought the two barking dogs, who again viewed me through the window beside the door — and then looked toward you (wherever you were hiding) as you called to quiet them.

I could hear you.

I took the brownies home, shot a photo of the plate of brownies that will grace my hips instead of your table, and wrote a blog post.

“You must be really mad if you’re writing a blog about this,” my son observed.

I’m not, really. I kind of understand not opening the door to strangers in this day and age. And yet the Bible says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it” (NASB).

I’m not feeling particularly angelic, so my new neighbors don’t need to regret entertaining me. But I do feel a bit disappointed.

Welcome to the neighborhood.

 

6 thoughts on “To my new neighbors…

  1. Your new neighbors don’t know what they’re missing! Not just those delicious brownies, but the chance to meet a new friend (one of MY dearest friends, by the way). Their loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry about the incident, but they are surely missing some good sweets and sweeter neighbors. Maybe they thought you were passing religious literature? Only a thought. Regardless, I bet in the future you will connect and that is my prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quite possible, I’m sure. I don’t even know if they looked out the door to see who was at the door. Having made the former homeowner a dear friend, I was hoping for another with the new occupants. Thanks for commenting! Love you!

      Like

  3. This same thing has happened to me…a few times! Not really sure why. Many people seem to just want to carry on with their lives and do not want to get to know their neighbors (or have others get to know them.) One time, I put together a beautiful box filled with homemade fancy Christmas cookies, and took it over to new neighbors with a card that included our number and email address in case they ever needed anything. She was on her cell phone, talking the whole time, took the cookies, and shut the door. Oh well!!!!

    Anyway, don’t let those experiences stop you from offering your gifts of welcome and love. One of my most treasured memories is when our family moved into a new neighborhood. It was the Christmas Season and we were decorating our first tree in our new home. One of our neighbors brought over a beautiful crystal platter filled with the most delicious and beautiful homemade cookies and toffee. My heart still warms when I think of it. And, by the way, her name was Laura…and my youngest son loved her and became good friends with her son.

    Thanks for sharing:-)
    Bernadette

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bernadette! Thanks for sharing your stories with me (and for commenting!). 🙂 Neighborly relations can make such a difference in making a house a home. When I married my second husband, I had my own home and he his. We thought we would sell both and buy something else as we joined together as a family. Before we did so, however, I was hanging out with the children in the back yard when a neighbor came over with a plate of chocolate chip cookies — freshly baked. She welcomed me to the neighborhood and to my new family, and when my husband got home from work, I told him I was perfectly content to live in his house — and it was all because of that neighborly experience! I’m glad you were welcomed in your new neighborhood, too. Thanks for sharing!
      -Sara

      Liked by 1 person

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