We briefly met our new neighbors right before they moved in but didn’t really see them a whole lot outside of that. We kind of come and go and seem to have very different schedules. One day not long after they moved in (late spring/early summer) I noticed a strange “gas-like” smell coming from their house. Both vehicles were home and I recalled them not having really moved in the past day or so. I ignored it for a while but the smell lingered so I thought I would just go ring their doorbell and be sure everything was alright. There was no answer, so I became even more suspicious with both vehicles home. I decided I would poke around a bit more before becoming further concerned but not wanting to overreact. As I followed my nose it led me to the source of the smell….a garbage bin filled with dirty diapers! Crisis averted and I double-timed it back home eagerly anticipating garbage day.
In our Edmonton neighborhood, I was awoken at 2am in the morning to my doorbell being incessantly pushed. When I looked through the peephole, all I saw was someone running around in circles in tighty-whities in my front yard. As I looked a little closer, I noticed it was my neighbor’s 12-year old son who I knew slept walked at home a lot. This particular time he took it a little farther and escaped his house. After some convincing, I did return him to his parents who had absolutely no idea that he had escaped.
Several years back, we had a major snowstorm one spring. It was one of the few times the city truly shut down – business downtown told staff not to come in, schools and the university were closed. My wife and I were lying in bed, enjoying the surprise day off (this was before we had kids who would be up tearing around the house by 6:30 am), when we heard our neighbours shovelling out front. We didn’t know them well, but we figured that if they had to be digging out their car, they must really need to get somewhere that day. So, we got all suited up, grabbed a couple of shovels, and headed out to help them. It turns out the didn’t have to go anywhere, but were just having fun getting started on moving that snow that would someday have to be shovelled. We ended up helping for an hour or two, then having lunch together, and eventually we walked down to the grocery store, and prepared dinner together. Although we started with the noble intention to help our neighbour, all we ended up doing was getting to know them better – and starting a friendship that lasted several years. We even stayed in touch when they first moved to Lethbridge (which reminds me, I think I still have a number for them – I should really give them a call). Anyway, since that time, we’ve made an effort to help and introduce ourselves to many of our neighbours. We’ve never been disappointed (okay, not all of them end up being good friends, but even if you’re a little wary of strange neighbours, it is still better to know them than not!).