I am lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where many of us on this block have known each other since our kids were in kindergarten. Now these kids are grown and have children of their own going to that same school. We still keep track of each other's family happenings. We watch each other's homes while the residents are vacationing. We gossip while collecting the mail, washing our cars, and watering the lawns. We watch the fireworks together on the Fourth of July while sitting on the driveway. We drop our excess zuchinni off on each other's porches in the summer and then run home to hide!
DD Moon is the unofficial house sitter for the neighborhood. She started out by being the dog watcher when neighbors went out of town. As she got older and didn't move out, the neighbors began to ask her to take on the responsibility of watching whole houses, watering plants, picking up mail, newspapers, etc. while they were away. We have a duplicate set of keys to over half of the houses on this block hanging on a hook in our kitchen. Now that she is an adult these neighbors are beginning to treat her more like a member of their extended family, often bringing her gifts from their travels, in addition to paying her for her services. She has taken in quite a little sum of money over the past few years being 'neighborly'. It has certainly helped her out since she has been out of work.
Recently one couple, whose son Larry is the same age as our son, went to Japan to visit Larry, his Japanese wife and their two darling children. Larry has been living in Japan for about 10 years now. He is teaching English in a small village there and loves it. Before they left for Japan, my neighbor Arlene and I were talking about CQing. I mentioned, in passing, how I had been able, while living in Korea, to get some scrap Kimono fabrics at the dressmaker's shops for free.
Today, when Arlene came to pay Moon for watching their house while they were gone, she brought with her a large cellophane bag full of goodies she had picked up for me in Japan. The materials are mostly small pieces of kimono cottons, some are even scraps of pre-quilted cotton in children's prints which will make darling children's bags. There are some lovely floral prints (I don't buy a lot of actual prints so I can use these!), a couple of really nice, large yardage pieces in flannel and damask, 1 package of gold edged ribbon, and some little packages of mostly plastic beads/trims. I am sure I will be able to put it all to good use.
What a wonderful, unexpected surprise! I believe Arlene is probably even more challenged at sewing than I am, if that is at all possible,LOL. So, for her to go out and even attempt to find these fabrics for me was probably a huge undertaking. She mentioned riding on the high speed train (see the fabric with the 55 on it and the one that says Shinkansen - train advertising on fabric, lol) for a long period of time for a sight seeing day trip. Then, at the end of the day, finding this little fabric shop and carrying the bag of fabrics back on the train. That was probably a bit awkward or even intimidating for her and Richard (her DH). She told me that the little fellow who owned the shop was as glad to get rid of these bits and pieces as she was to find them, VBG. I can't tell you how much I appreciate them taking the time on this most personal of vacations to think of me and my CQing.
I offered to pay her something because I could see price tags on a lot of what she brought. She declined saying she was just grateful that we let Moon live at home so she was here to watch the house and it was a way of saying thanks for being good neighbors. Aw Shucks! Fact is Moon just can't find a 'real' job so she can get enough money together to get out! I am real glad she is living here too! I don't know how I could get everything done without her here to help with the children, the house cleaning and especially the dishes! Most importantly, as those who follow my blog will know, I count on her to be my computer tutor!