Heart of the Home

Neighbors: What do they mean to you?

| October 2005

A Letter From Kate

Dear Readers,

I don't restrict my definition of neighbors just to the people who live next door. In my opinion, a neighbor can be anyone who lives in my town. Sure, I know the people who live next door and the woman across the street, but I feel closer to 'neighbors' such as my friend Nikki, who lives across town, and even some of the people who live in my husband's parents' neighborhood.

And I feel as if I know the woman who owns several cats a few blocks down the street because my daughter insists that we slow down every time we drive by so she can see all of the cats outside. I started waving to the woman so she wouldn't be suspicious of us. Now, she always waves at us. Someday I'll stop and tell her why I drive so slowly past her house.

Things were a bit different when I was growing up. When I was a child, my family knew every family up and down the block. My sister and I were always playing with other neighborhood children, and we spent hours with the girls who lived next door to us on both sides. One of our neighbors even taught me to ride a bike. And when we moved to the country, we were still familiar with most of our neighbors.

Although times have changed, I think it's still important to know one's neighbors. True security is knowing that someone is looking out for you and will notice if something unusual is happening at your home. That person next door might be a new friend. And anyway, who knows when you might need to borrow a cup of sugar?

Kate Marchbanks

Together With God

On the north side of me lives a retired couple, Bud and Jean. Bud likes to call me over to the fence to discuss neighborhood news, and Jean has some of the most beautiful quilts I've ever seen hanging on their backyard clothesline.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!