Good neighbors

19 Apr

A few weeks ago, I got an interesting request from a former neighbor. He was applying for an Irish passport and needed a dentist, clergy person, or teacher to watch him sign the application, then verify with their signature.

These were neighbors I loved and heart-broken when I learned they were moving. I see them from time to time in the neighborhood, and each time, they bring a smile to my face. Of course I said yes, and we arranged a time for them to stop by.

They arrived at my door with a lovely pot of Spring flowers. We exchanged “you shouldn’t haves” and “you are helping us outs”.

“I can’t tell you how much we appreciate this,” he said, and went on to explain. “We aren’t religious and a dentist will charge for an appointment. The choice of professionals is odd.”

I explained that I once asked my principal for a signature on my Canadian passport application, then asked if they were thinking about moving to Ireland. That’s when his spouse chimed in.

“Malta!” she enthused.
“Malta?” I parroted.

“Malta,” she repeated and then, together, they explained that not only was it warm, but the health and education system were very appealing to them.

It might not surprise you to learn that I have yarn and knitted items around the house. Along with books, it is my decorating ethic. Her eyes had been roaming the room, taking it all in. When they landed on a colorwork hat perched on a styrofoam head, she almost squealed.

“Go ahead and try it on,” I said. “I loved knitting it, but it is not a flattering hat for my head.”

“Do you ever sell your knitting?” she asked as she put it on and preened in the mirror. She looked fabulous.

I explained how knitting for money stressed me out and took away the joy. Then, I offered, “Would like to take it with you?”

Eyes wide with disbelief, she said no she couldn’t, but I could see she wanted to. I insisted and we played that game we all play for a bit before she accepted it.

“How can I repay you?” she asked.

“Just send me a picture of the two of you in Malta – but you have to be wearing the hat.”

3 Responses to “Good neighbors”

  1. arjeha April 19, 2022 at 6:50 am #

    How wonderful. You helped them out and they will always have something of yours to cherish and remember you by. It is something how we all tend to play the game of, “No, I can’t.” and “I insist.”

  2. Fran McCrackin April 19, 2022 at 5:55 pm #

    A small moment well described. I also like the “games” we play, with our polite back and forth-ing. I love that you were so free to give the hat away. Your pleasure was in the making and now you will know it carries memories of you. I kind of want to know what colors it had!

  3. Trish April 19, 2022 at 9:22 pm #

    What a wonderful parting exchange between neighbors. (I am wondering about the dentist as a possible witness, hmmm?) You also made me look up Malta. I love that a random story takes me somewhere new. Maybe you’ll share that photo on your blog one day?!

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