I am unusually fortunate when it comes to having wonderful neighbors. When I lived in Chicago (15th and Blue Island in the Near West Side neighborhood), I befriended my neighbors Dan and Kathy or they befriended me. I can’t recall which happened first, but I adored them and their two dogs, and I adore them all to this day. Dan and Kathy are marvelously kind hearted. They volunteer their time, kitchen, and food to feed Chicago’s homeless. When I lived at 15th and Blue Island, Dan and Kathy were nurses at Rush. Dan is retired but is pursuing his dreams of becoming a chef. (Go Dan, go!!!)

In Jackson (again, I don’t know who befriended whom first), I met my neighbors Walter and Phoebe, a retired couple who have a meticulously maintained front lawn (and lush backyard garden) in Belhaven. I was chatting with Phoebe (it is called “visiting” here), and half-joked if I could adopt them. Phoebe looked bemused and replied, “Well, we’d like to adopt you!”

Walter and Phoebe are endlessly thoughtful and always inviting. I hope someday I can be as helpful to others the way that Dan, Kathy, Walter, and Phoebe are to me, in gestures small and large. Neighborly.