From super sour to bitter sweet

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson

When I returned home from the gym yesterday evening, there was a beautifully wrapped plate of delectable cookies on the kitchen counter.

The previous day, I shared with my neighbors (an elderly widow and her 40 something year-old son) the recent passing of my mother-in-law. They said they knew something was wrong because our yard still wasn’t decorated for the Christmas holiday season. I told them that on Friday we planned to put out the decorations.

They expressed heartwarming condolences and offered an unexpected but generous offer.

“We’ll come over and help James put up the decorations!”

“Customary to (their) deep Italian traditions,” they wanted to bring a little something over for our family. So yesterday they brought the cookies over.

So what’s the big deal?

Well, seven years ago when we moved into our home, her husband, Mr. D. threatened us with a law suit. Why?

“Because two (2) inches of the piping from our water-well rested on their property!”

I kid you not, two inches!! In spite of the fact we paid a land surveyor twice, Mr. D was right. Two inches of the piping rested on his property. The situation grew quite ugly and tempers flared on both sides. On one occasion, during dinner, I look up and Mr. D. was in our back yard with a tape measure. I lost my patience that day and gave him a piece of my mind. Hostile doesn’t even begin to explain our relationship with our neighbor.

Hubby and I have always had a great relationship with all of our neighbors. This ugliness was a first for us and we were really taken back by it all.

The well was moved and we decided to put the fiasco behind us. A few years later, Mr. D. grew sick died. Hubby and I continued to just be ourselves. Always smiling and waving to saying hello and just trying to be cordial. Over time, we’ve developed a better relationship with the D. family and at times offering help with the lawn mower, other yard equipment, and the likes of preparing for coastal storms.

Yesterday’s act of kindness by the D’s and a conversation with a colleague, made me realize how far we’ve come as neighbors. Both of our families have grown, in terms of our perspective and opinion of the other.

The progression of our relationship clearly demonstrates that:

          • A negative situation can turn out positive
          • Our attitude can affect the attitude of others
          • Time is capable of healing wounds
          • Typically we will receive what we give
          • A little effort can go further than one might think

I am happy with our new ending and I say thank you to the D. family!

Happy holidays!

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