Friday, August 17, 2012

Love thy neighbor...

My neighbor called me this afternoon to ask if I would take her to get her prescription. She uses the pharmacy located inside our local (big chain) grocery store, so afterward, I picked up a few things for dinner. When we got home, I was saying good-bye, and said I was going to go figure out what to make for dinner. She said she was going to do the same, and then said, "I could really go for a good hotdog!" Now, I could eat a great Chicago dog every night of the week. So, of course, once she put it out there, that's all I could think about. By the time I walked up my driveway and into the house, I had decided that we were going for hotdogs.

I had a few Groupons (of course!) for a hot dog place, so I immediately called Jean and told her we were going for hotdogs. She sounded so excited, I had to laugh a little.

Now, for those of you who aren't up to speed on my neighbor, she's 88 years young, and a complete hoot! She and her brother, who passed away about 2 1/2 years ago, moved into the house next-door about a year before we moved in here. They have ALWAYS been the BEST neighbors. John, her brother, took care of my house for 15 years. He cut my grass, trimmed my bushes, shoveled my snow, you name it, he did it! Even for the 11 months that CSJ originally lived here, John insisted on doing everything. When we moved in, John and Jean were already in their 60s, and both retired. Every time CSJ would tell him he didn't have to do all that stuff, and the HE should be doing John's work (as we were only in our 20s!!) John would argue with him. "You work all night, keeping us safe. You should be sleeping during the day. Besides, I'm retired. What else do I have to do?" (You may recall that CSJ was a Chicago Police Officer)

Anyway, about 3 years ago, John had a heart attack, and Stud was finally allowed to take over the grass cutting and snow shoveling. Up until this point, John wouldn't let him, even though I would insist that the young, strapping teenager should be doing those things! After John passed away about six months later, we really stepped up our efforts to take care of Jean. She had a stroke about a year before John's heart attack, and lost some function on one side. She's also blind in one eye, and deaf in one ear (both on the same side).

Holy crap, why the hell am I telling you all this nonsense?!?! The point of this post was to tell you that CSJ and I took Jean for a hot dog for dinner, and it was like we had taken her out for steak and lobster. She was so cute and so excited. Truthfully, it made me a little sad, because it reminded me that she doesn't really get out enough. She never drove, even when she was young, and she has no family nearby. She does have a niece who lives in Michigan who tries to come see her at least once a month, sometimes twice, if she can. But, other than her weekly shopping/hair appointments on Thursday, she's usually home alone all day, every day.

So, like I said, she was very excited to be going for a hot dog with us. CSJ got such a kick out of her. While we were eating, he decided we needed to go for ice cream afterward. In a weird, twisted way, it was like taking a 5 year old for the night. I thought she would put up a fight, but she really didn't. We went to one of mine and Stud's favorite ice cream shops, and she indulged in a hot fudge sundae. I know it's probably so condescending to say it, but we got such a kick out of how cute she was all night. CSJ has never really had the opportunity to spend much time with her, so he got to see a whole new side of Jean. He loved it. He said we now have to take her out weekly, if we can.

The point of this long, drawn-out, boring post was to say that today, my happiness was sharing in Jean's happiness. See, I DID have a point!

(If you're curious about other stories I've shared about my awesome neighbors, click on the label below)

Ok, this has nothing to do with anything I wrote, but I just found it on Pintrest, and it made me laugh out loud. I don't know what the hell it means, either, but it still makes me laugh.


M said...

How sweet! We have wonderful neighbors too...and it is sad to see them getting so old.

I love me a good hot dog too- with onions!!

Funny in My Mind said...

How sweet and sad at the same time.
You should have her over at least once a week or drop by a few minutes here and there to visit.
I love the older customers at work who come to see me for their hair appts and shopping trips. They get out a day or 2 a week, have breakfast and visit with us and go home. On Saturdays I see George who eats and then goes to the care center to see his wife who has Alzheimer's. On Wed, Cliff and Hazel come in for spaghetti ( lunch special) and Marge is there every Tues after she has her hair done.
Love those peeps!!

Melanie said...

Okay, take out all the crap about not having a point or knowing where you're going with the post and it's fabulous. Nothing makes us feel as good as doing for others. They spent years getting to experience that feeling by helping out a single mom and yesterday you got to give back a tiny bit of that. I am all for you taking Jean for weekly dates. Sounds like she is a good woman who deserves it. And someday when she's gone you won't think about how hard it was to schedule or get her around (or convince her to go). Instead you will be so happy that you got to bring some of her happiest memories later in life.

Now you're making me cry. You are a good girl.

karen gerstenberger said...

What a great neighbor you have! She and her brother sound like true gems. It's a gift that you got to take her out and give her those treats - sharing happiness with her, and with us. Thank you!

Even if you can't take her out once a week, I'll bet she'd love a taste of anything you make in those fabulous slow-cookers, or just a "pop-in-to-say-'HI!' " visit. Bless your heart, and hers.

Could the "Bitch, Please" thing mean "Don't even think of messing with me?"

Maria said...

I had a Jean for a long time and I miss her dearly. SO glad she has you.

Anonymous said...

I want you to be my neighbor! I want a Chicago dog (although the neon green relish freaks me out a bit - diners, drive-in & dives, don'tcha know). I want a hot fudge sundae. Geez, I want a lot, huh? You are such a sweetheart ... thank you for your great posts on my CB - you make me smile every time I see one!
Becky said...

God bless you, your a sweet person for all you do.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

That's why I love my job - I basically do what you did last night, for a living! OK it's not always fun stuff like that, but sometimes it is. Old folks get SO lonely.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Jean sounds wonderful....surely her Brother is pleased that you guys keep an eye on her. Old people get taking her out is so sweet!
{we had hot dogs at costco for lunch yesterday~YUMMY}

otin said...

I want a Chicago dog!!! :(

Katy said...

That is so sweet...reading it made me think of Grandmother and how much we miss her. Dammit, I need to find a grandma to adopt! You are the inspiration I need. :)

Clippy Mat said...

I love this and I love how it made me feel. Great story. :D xx