I’m not a very good condo neighbor. I’m not a very bad condo neighbor, but no one is ever going to write a book about my stellar neighborliness. I try to be a good neighbor, mainly by staying out of the way. I’m not at the coop very much and when I am, I’m really just in the process of sleeping, writing, or getting ready to go somewhere else. The coop is my own extended stay hotel with property taxes, a See-Mint pond, and the Atlantic Ocean a mere 200 yards away.
I have a neighbor, we’ll call her Jan. She is a good condo neighbor. Her condo is not her chicken coop. It’s her castle. She decorates her porch for every holiday, she keeps her eye on people, and she plants all kinds of beautiful flowers around the See-Mint pond.
Jan also makes big pots of delicious soup and shares it with her neighbors. She’ll put some soup in a container, put the container in a bag, and hang it from my door knob. Inevitably, Jan’s soup always arrives on the day when I haven’t prepared a healthy dinner for myself or I’m tired. It’s funny how Jan always seems to know I need soup on the days she leaves it for me. Maybe she looks out her window and sees me shuffling my feet like a schlep rock, bowed under the weight of my laptop, when I leave in the morning.
All hail the pea soup, the minestrone, and the Italian wedding soup! Sometimes, she gives me enough for 2 meals. I always try to give her something in return when I bring back her container, like candy hearts or chocolates.
Yesterday, after I finished my “day of rest” invigorating walk, I was bummed. I was thinking about the work day coming up and the (gulp) pending time change. I was so surprised (and happy!) to see the soup bag hanging on my door knob! I practically started wolfing it down while I unlocked the door. I hadn’t even returned the container from the pea soup Jan left me two weeks ago. I looked through my cupboards and refrigerator for something which might fit in the container. I had lots of kale and spinach, but nothing that would make a nice presentation.
Or was there?
I had a lot of eggs, since Joel & Annalisa had lots of eggs at the market on Saturday. Yup, Jan was going to get some eggs. But how would I explain Winter Market and CSA? What if she asked what I meant by CSA? Could I explain CSA in less than 500 words? My post about CSA was 778 words. I was tired and I just wanted to finish my soup.
Knock, knock, knock.
Jan opened the door.
“Hi Jan, thank you so much for the delicious soup. I’m sorry I’m behind in returning your containers.”
“Oh, no problem,” she said.
I held out her soup container with half a dozen fresh eggs.
“I have some friends with a farm and they gave me some fresh eggs. I hope you can use a few.”
(C-S, C-S, Aay! Wink, wink!)
Do you have a good neighbor?