“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” – Winnie the Pooh

My Monday morning started out with this note on my doorstep, a darling portrait of me, my dog and my sweet little neighbor. The sentiment had me smiling all day.

When I talked to my mom about it, she reminded me that I had some older neighbors that I was particularly drawn to when I was a little girl. Without notice or invitation, I would regularly drop by unannounced to spend a few minutes or entire afternoons in their company. Without exception, front doors were opened to me with smiles, welcoming hugs and offerings of candy (next-door neighbor) or homemade pickles (a few doors down). A few years later, another neighbor even taught me how to sew. I didn’t appreciate this as much at the time as I do now, but I was absolutely never made to feel like a nuisance or that there wasn’t time for me. I was certainly never turned away. And I remember the names of these neighbors more readily than I remember 99% of my elementary school teachers. Clearly it was a different time and childhood was more carefree than what today’s kids experience (think in terms of The Sandlot — “hey mom, I’m going out!”) But it made me smile to think that maybe I can still fill this role for my little neighbor. Even today, maybe I can be one of those adults who always makes her feel like she’s interesting, smart, important and fun, and not because of an obligation as a relative, coach or teacher. But just because it’s really true.

Oh. And in all fairness, I think that note should say, “You or a great neighbor. And I really love your dog.” Because Finn is the best neighbor of all, if I do say so myself.

In today’s other news, check out this visitor to my back porch today. Apologies for the crappy photo, but I had about 20 seconds to grab the nearest camera, which happened to be my phone.

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