Love thy neighbor

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By The Staff

A caring neighborhood is the goal this week, as we look at asset #4.

I really hope you have a caring neighborhood and you would think that most people here do.

Our local data shows that only 39 percent of our kids feel that way. That’s is just on track with the national percentage, too. Really? Los Alamos?

I think that is an easy fix, but we all have to work together.

Your neighbors could be, should be, the ones that help you out when the chips are down. Do you even know yours? When a pipe breaks or the vehicle breaks down, your neighbors just might be the ones you call in your hour of need.

They could also be the ones that water your plants when you’re away or take in your mail, even when they knew you had it stopped.

Recently, one of our neighbors on our street moved away. We like to joke that you need to have a document signed by the neighborhood before you’re allowed leave the street. She forgot that part of the homeowner’s agreement.

We’ll call her Sherry – was the matriarch of the street. While the term matriarch has an older connotation to it, for us, she was the one with the oldest kids.

She was the one we queried as the kids got older, trying to see the next stage that might befall us all.

I remember when her youngest was about 7-years-old and she played with the pre-school aged kids on the block.

The little girl was so nice to them and had a kindness unlike many children her age. It was one of the first times I stepped out of the box to praise the child of someone I didn’t know so well.

A real-life neighbor relationship began that day and still continues with many left on the block.

You can do that, too. You can recognize the accomplishments of someone who lives on your street or attends your church. Individuals can also acknowledge the child of a friend or co-worker.

There are many types of communities in our little neck of the woods. You can have a family of co-workers, club members or even people who work out at the gym the same time you do. You can increase your number of neighbors, like your number of assets at anytime.

Another way to be a good neighbor is through a plan called Snow Angels.

These angels, for our purpose today, will be defined as those who help out our local senior citizens by doing things such as shoveling the sidewalk.

I’m sure the senior center could utilize whatever talent you might have to help a local senior.

You can call them at 662-8920 to offer your services today.

So let me get back to Sherry. She returns to the fold this weekend, if only for a visit.

The great thing is she decided to make the visit a celebration, for, we’ll say her 50th birthday. We’ll pull out the neighborhood stops, just like the old days for her this weekend.

There’s a block party, complete with progressive dinner and games. She’ll be tormented endlessly with revelers dressed in black, making a point of discussing her age.

She’ll also be treated to a gift crafted by her former neighbors. This gift is not just a tribute to her older years but to her spirit of service, to the block, to her church and to the community. For me, creating a caring neighborhood all started with a nice comment to a neighbor.

You can begin building your own neighborhood for me and you can begin one tomorrow, even if that neighborhood is no longer called Isleta.

Bernadette Lauritzen is the Assets In Action Coordinator for Los Alamos. She can be reached at 661-4846.