I have been giving masks to any neighbor who asks for them in recent weeks. One of our newest neighbors responded to my masks by giving me four yards of fabric, because she doesn’t sew. I wondered how she came to have this fabric if she didn’t have a use for it, but haven’t had a chance to ask.
In this house, an older couple live with the wife’s sister and the couple’s adult daughter. They all share the care of “grandma” who is bed ridden. I used one, 2-yard piece to make this bag. Turns out, the daughter and the sister are both caregivers for severely disabled individuals. The dad, a school custodian, was on his front porch last evening. He was doing cross word puzzles “to keep (his) mind sharp.” He gratefully accepted the bag last night. He is sure one of the women will have a use for the bag, since they are always hauling essential items to their work. I’ll have to make another bag out the second, 2-yard fabric, so the other health care worker has something new to take to her job.
My husband and I have lived in this neighborhood for 35 years. We have never had the kind of free exchange with our neighbors as we are enjoying now. One couple has generously done some shopping for us. We have shared our extra garlic chive plants with several neighbors. In that exchange we discovered that one neighbor is a chef at a local restaurant and hopes to open her own, local-produce cafe one day. Another is recovering from cancer and has used gardening as her therapy.
Last night, we checked in on an elderly neighbor we hadn’t seen in a while. Keeping our social distance, and wearing our masks, we learned that she has become the designated driver for another elderly neighbor who can no longer drive. Each of us seems to be doing our small part to stay connected, be supportive and discover what is truly important. Out of adversity can come a strength we didn’t know we had. It’s one beautiful thing that has developed in this time of crisis. I hope it can grow.