Top 1o People in my Neighborhood
10. the mustachioed traffic director at Reid's school
9. Laura who works Sunday mornings at Panera
8. Kaye at the library who has authority to waive fines
7. Alex at Henry's Marketplace whose "got my back"
6. Debbie with the "oy i'm late" license plates who waves vigorously
5. you-know-the-stockboy at Trader Joe's
4. a greenskeeper for our association
3. Larry, the greeter on our church patio
2. another mustachioed carpool line attendant at Allie's school
1. Jona at the Solana Beach Rubio's
I have friends--some really good friends--but I don't necessarily see them on a daily basis. This list of more anonymous types are people who, in truth, I barely know. Yet they brighten my day immensely with their undeniable joie de vivre. As you can see, I don't even know some of their names. They are familiar faces though, "people in my neighborhood" who like Mary Tyler Moore, "can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile." Each of them hasmade my day more times than I can count with a simple wave, a significant smile, or a gutsy greeting.
It doesn't take much. I am sure the greenskeeper waves to many residents as they pass by but boy oh boy when he puts that spade down to wave to me through the car window, well...I feel like his favorite!
Although we've only exchanged a dozen words ever, "Oy I'm Late" (the plate on her maroon van) flags me down in the "2 BY 2" (my Eurovan plate) as if I were driving on the rims or my engine was aflame. By the time I realize she's just waving hello, I feel like the president in a motorcade. Whether I bump into her in the produce aisle or a swim lane, she never fails to ask about Reid by name. She doesn't know our last name, wouldn't imagine that I blog, but she cares and she seems to get the gestalt of us. We are a piece in her puzzle, and she sees the big picture.
Likewise, the clerk at our nearest Panera has our Sunday morning goodies practically bagged and ready before we get to the counter. She is a bright spot of familiarity and belonging in our week, always asking, "how was church?"
Reid is a definite vehicle for this kind of VIP treatment since we call his name outloud in public places more than the norm. It seems we are repeatedly prompting him back to wait in line, away from the sneezeguard, or over to place his order. Before you know it, we've attained infamy at many local haunts. His ritualistic ordering of the same thing every week also aids her memory. Just the same, she has a gift of hospitality and uses it liberally to love on us, if only for the short exchange.
I could go on about each one (and may in future posts). For now, let's just ask each other, whose day can we make?
The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."Galatians 5:13-15
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man?" Luke 10:35-37