To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To a child, a good example. To yourself, respect. ~ Oren Arnold
To your neighbor, many lights. ~ Pat
Pictured here is the home of my across-the-street neighbors. The best I can tell, they add a little something each year. My decorating philosophy tends toward less is more when it comes to outdoors where the neighbors have to look at it whether they want to or not. Well, that was my theory before we lived near a large family who had three houses in a row on the street we traveled to get up the mountain and home. They would work most of Thanksgiving week and before, to wire the houses and yards. On Thanksgiving night all lights were on and continued to light up the night for a month, ending with Christmas Day. December 26 they started to pack up all the lights and Santas and mangers until the next year. These kindly neighbors, like my current ones, purchased a little something new to add to the display each year.
One year, in the summer, the elderly patriarch of the family learned he had cancer and so he took his own life; he hanged himself in the family’s barn. That year his survivors, understandably, didn’t have much heart for decorating and word went out that there might be no lights in the three family yards. I remember feeling a little ache of disappointment. I wouldn’t be able to show the children when they came up for Thanksgiving. The yards were visible from Interstate 40 and I thought about all the weary travelers who wouldn’t get to ooh and aah over the glorious display of lights and enthusiasm as they made their way home or to Grandma’s house or wherever they were going. And the truckers. I wondered how many truckers would miss them, having seen them for many years as they carried their cargo to points unknown. A little something (okay, a big something) would feel all wrong about the holidays that year.
I learned later that there were quite a few neighbors who felt the same way I did. Those angel-neighbors pitched in and helped to wire’em up. I have always regretted that I missed out on that amazing venture. I did make sure the neighbors knew how much their generosity meant to my family. And to countless others who chanced to drive by or those who made a special trip from one of the nearby towns just to admire the remarkable work of art, given with love, to a rural community.
May we all give and receive that kind love and light this holiday season.