One of the things I like about living in McCauley is the friendliness of most people who live here. When one person says “hello” or “good morning” others usually respond in kind. I may not know who they are or where they live, and vice versa, but we almost always greet each other. Actually, I was taught when I went up North to work in very small Arctic communities, that since I was the stranger or newcomer in town I had to say “hello” to everyone I met, or I would be considered a snob.
That has carried over into living here in McCauley. When I walk my dogs, or when I am working in my garden, I say “hello” or “good morning” to everyone. But a few people don’t respond, or ignore me, and some look at me as if I am crazy. Maybe they don’t understand the friendliness that comes with living in a community where neighbours know each other. Sometimes seeing neighbours and saying “hello” is a way of making the space we share – our neighbourhood – more safe for all of us.
A few times lately, I have suddenly not seen a neighbour for quite a while, and I wondered if something dire happened to them. Later I have found that they had surgery, or a stroke, or some other difficulty, and I tell them I was concerned. Good neighbours try to look out for each other, because it helps us all be safe. One morning my neighbour’s car doors and trunk were open, and I went to tell them, and it turned out that their car had been broken into and vandalized. They did the same for me, when they saw a man sitting in my car at night, going through my papers. It’s comforting to know others are looking out for me.
Some neighbours don’t want to talk, even to say hello. They want to keep to themselves. I can accept that, as long as they respect others’ needs for privacy too. Some things that impact others include: people leaving garbage or piles of dirt on the public sidewalk; people picking berries without asking as if it was a public space; people pulling up new plants or picking flowers without asking; people letting noxious weeds grow and go to seed in their yards, which blow into other yards; and, people playing loud music, or letting dogs bark endlessly, which annoys neighbours.
Part of living in a neighbourhood where everyone is fairly close together, is being considerate of each other. Recently I have seen kids’ shoes or bikes laying in the street that children have left, or someone may have stolen, and I asked around to try to find out to whom they belong. Things like noxious weeds and noise are regulated by the City, and impact more than one person in one house. At 3 a.m. if neighbours are having a party or a fight, I can hear everything that is shouted, and I don’t really want to hear that. Some neighbours work nights and have to sleep in the day, so we try to be considerate of each other. I guess I hope everyone will also be considerate of me too. I like McCauley, because, for the most part, neighbours do look out for each other, which is wonderful.