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Neighborhood Watch

You’ve probably read a few of my stories about my neighbors (here & here, for instance), so it likely won’t surprise you to learn that, while I am cordial, I don’t encourage friendship. Through observation only, I know a few things about the elderly lady who lives across the street from me. She is extremely short. She is Filipino. She loves her Kenny Rogers CD, and her favorite song is, Lucille. Until this morning, I had never spoken to the woman.

Today as I left my house and prepared to get into my car, she came out of her house yelling, “Yoohoo! Yoohoo!” I was quite startled to see her waving at, and heading toward, me. Still, I smiled and said, “Good morning.”

She stopped in the middle of the street and said, “The other day you go,” she pointed down the street. “You drive away, and then your door, it open. It stay open all day. I say to myself, The car is gone. No one is there. So I sit all day and I watch. No one bother you. I watch.”

I was surprised. I thought my door couldn’t have been open long, because the cats and all my possessions were still inside. “How long was my door open?” I asked.

She shrugged. “I was lunch eating. My soap was on. Maybe one thirty.”

“Oh my gosh!” I exclaimed. “I didn’t get home until seven!”

“I know.” She nodded her head. “I sit in my chair and I watch. No one bother. Your cats, they come and they go. The brown one walks the yard. The white one stays on steps. Car drive by, inside they run.”

I thanked her. I told her I was glad she was my neighbor. She said, “I honest. Not like some some. ”

I thanked her again. She turned to walk away, then turned back. “You lock good. I not always home. Check door.” She pointed at my closed door. “Check! Check!”

I had one foot in my car, but I obediently walked over and checked my door. “Locked,” I said.

She nodded, “Good. Good. I go Bingo. No worry.”

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. You are fortunate to have an honest and apparently sane neighbour. Where I grew up, one of our neighbours had a penchant for mowing his lawn naked on Sunday mornings. I’d much rather have had your Bingo lady than him anyday!

    Oh and I’m first to comment for the first time! Woot!

  2. Hi Quilly

    You neighbor sounds like a doll, You must do something nice for her, maybe take her to Bingo someday.


    I had a surprise waiting for me when I got home, go have a boo and see my surprise. It is an invitation from one of Her Majesty’s representatives

  3. Wow….I think this is what your cats do all the time when you are not there. THey have figured out how to open the door and hang ouside until you get home.

    Seriously, I am glad she is a nice neighbor.

  4. Mumma — I am fortunate. Shortly after moving in here I was robbed by a not so honest neighbor (I believe) who no longer lives here. (I have no proof, but one day when my car was in the shop I was home and the teen who used to live next door tried to enter my house with a key, but I had changed the locks.)

    Bill — I think I’ll buy her a nice box of chocolates. Someone better han me can take her to [shudder] Bingo. Oh! Enjoy jury duty.

    Lori — that explains it. Those dang cats, anyway. And I feel much more secure knowing I have a nosey, but honest, neighbor.

  5. What a great story, like a little angel living right next door. Are your cats indoor-outdoor models or was this their first foray into the world?

  6. Kat, Chrismas is crippled, so I have never let her out. I don’t think she could out-run a preditor. She can’t jump and sometimes she falls over when standing perfectly still. Fluffy has never before shown any interest in going out, and runs for the house if I take him. He was near a year old when I got him, and I don’t think he’d ever been outside.

  7. What a sweeeeeety! That was SO good of her! You are blessed to have that little lady living across from you! (sometimes nosey neighbors are OKAY!)

  8. Doesn’t that make you feel good!? I love a ‘good neighbor’ story. The news is full of the ‘evils’ of mankind – nice to be reminded, often, of how good people really are. Well, most of them, anyway.

  9. Y’know, I was reflecting on something like this, as I was driving home at 60mph, with all these rocks and poles and trees and other cars whizzing by. Any one of which could take me out. But they don’t. And most of the time I don’t even think about it. If I did think about it all the time, if the rest of us did, there would be no contribution to greenhouse gases from automobiles.

    If the people with whom we rub elbows (in sight or out of it) were anywhere as evil or thoughtless as the media, or our own perceptions, would lead us to believe …

  10. Lucky you!

    just becuase you don´t speak with your neighbours, doesn´t mean you aren´t friends.
    It just means you haven´t crossed that line where they are annoyed enough to bother with exchange of words and a business card of their lawyer 🙂
    I take silent neighbours as good neigbours :!

  11. Good neighbor lady you got there!

    Well quilly mf, I did it! I have moved my personal blog over to WordPress! I thought like typepad they were a fee service, but ty for clearing that up. The only problem is that they are so much easier, so few hassles in publishing, it’s going to take me a bit to get used to it after the chaos of Blogger!

    I already like the look much better. I had to have help in setting Blogger up, but WordPress is easy enough I may, with patience (ugh, I need alot of work with getting patience) I might be able to do it mostly on my own.

    I was able to make a post this evening on WP and didn’t feel the need to cuss a single cussword!

  12. Jill — good people come in all sizes.

    Silver — indeed.

    Polona — I do feel safer.

    Jackie — it was a wonderful surprise.

    OC — slow down! (Please & Thank you) :*
    You are right, driving is the most dangerous part of our everyday lives and we do it casually (some so casually they become a casuality).

    Minka — a friend is as a friend does — so, yes, she is a friend.

    Dr. John — hooray for such surprises!

    Jan — welcome!

  13. What a nice lady! When I was a kid we had neighbors who knew everything that went on at our place- but, somehow they managed to miss the morning that Mom fell and broke her ankle. They never got over it.

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