Have you ever wondered if you were a good neighbour? Do you think you have what it takes? Will you do what needs to be done to have someone say about you; "Man, I have a good neighbour."
I have friends who have great neighbours. They have all become friends. They barbecue at each other’s houses, pet sit for each other, their kids play together, husbands meet in the garage to do the things husbands do in garages (whatever it is, it requires them all to have a stocked beer fridge and a TV).
I think my husband is a great neighbour. He always says hello, he’ll shovel your walk in the winter if he gets to it first, clears the drain sewer in the spring and fall when they are clogged, and cuts the boulevard across the street in front of a parking lot. He keeps our grass cut, and our yard always looks nice.
Here are some tips on how you can be a good neighbour this summer:
1. Weeds be gone! Make sure that not only is your grass cut on a regular basis, but your weeds are not the only thing people see when they walk by your yard. Those yellow things that pop up every few days, those are dandelions, they are a weed. When you let them go to seed, they spread like crazy and grow in everyone’s yard. Dig them up, because they grow back in two days, or kill them.
2. We have a name, please use it. We should all practice the common courtesy of learning each other’s names. If you have forgotten your neighbour’s name, please still say hello. It is confusing when you say hello one week, then ignore us the next.
3. Keep your dog or cat in your own yard. If you have a pet, it’s yours, so keep it in your own yard, on a leash, and quiet. I am so sorry, dear neighbour, when my cat bolts past me just to get outside, and I am chasing him into your yard.
4. It’s party time. Either invite us or warn us. If you have a good neighbour, invite them to your barbecue. The answer may be no, but what a nice gesture to invite them.
5. Be thoughtful. If your neighbour tells you of their upcoming vacation, perhaps offer to cut their lawn, water their grass or flowers. You have to do yours anyway. No one likes a nosey neighbour, but during their vacation, it’s a good time just to keep a look out for what is going on.
Ponder these tips, and practice the art of being a good neighbour this summer. Cheers!
Tannis Ross is a St. Vital-based writer.
Neighbourhood Forum is a readers’ column. If you live in The Lance area and would like to contribute to this column, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.