I have a special Thanksgiving message for all my readers. For those of you that have read my first book, you know that the Jim part of my personality wants to love God first and love thy neighbor as I do myself. Jesus tells us these are the two most important commandments. I am thankful for Jesus saving me and I am especially thankful today for Jesus giving us the holy spirit. Jesus gave us the Good Samaritan parable to show us that our neighbor is anyone who crosses our path. How about the people that live next to us? I wrote a new chapter for my new book on loving thy neighbor:
Chapter 16 – To Kill A Mockingbird
I am serious about my life goal of loving my neighbor as I do myself. Using the good Samaritan parable Jesus shows us that our neighbor is anyone who crosses our path. Since I moved into my apartment, I had several new neighbors. I should try to love them. Yes?
One of my closest neighbors is a 5-year-old name Emily. Emily is so cute, and she stole my heart. I am a sucker for cute kids. She also had a 3-year-old brother named Charley. He was cute too.
Their single mother, Joanna, was 5’7” and had a great body, but I decided to not pursue that. First, she was a mother of two, and I didn’t want to venture into that unless I planned to go all the way. Second, I already have made promises to my Xena and Marie. I keep my promises and I was still in love with Xena.
So how do I love my neighbors and keep my promises to Xena and Marie?
When I first met these neighbors, we happened upon each other on the landing outside our apartments.
I offered: “Hi I’m Jim”
Joanna point to herself and her children: “I’m Joanna, this is Charley, and this is Emily”
I smiled: “Emily, that is such a beautiful name.”
Joanna responded for Emily who lit up and smiled: “Why thank you!”
Shortly after that, I went to the hospital for follow up on my acute diverticulitis. I bought some chocolates for the nurses who took loving care of me. Because of Covid 19, the hospital wouldn’t let me deliver the chocolates to the nurses. When I got home, I saw a delivery package on the stoop outside the door of Joanna, Emily, and Charley. I placed the unopened chocolates on top of the delivery package.
The next day, I saw Joanna where I usually run into her, on our landing and I explained: “If you were wondering where the chocolates came from, I put them there for you and the kids. I was in the hospital recently and I bought them for the nurses and the hospital wouldn’t let me deliver them because of Covid 19. So, I thought maybe you and the kids could enjoy them.”
She smiled: “Thank you, Jim”
I stuttered a little:” I didn’t want them to go to waste. I hope you and the kids enjoy them.”
Nothing more was said, and we entered our respective apartments.
Covid 19 caused a shortage in toilet paper. Why would people horde toilet paper? I read an article online that the shortage was caused because people have an emotional connection to toilet paper when there is a crisis. I could understand if there was a hurricane and there was fear of the stores being closed. But there was no reason to believe anyone was going to close all stores that sold toilet paper!
I bought a bail of soft toilet paper because the Charmin Ultra Strong was not in stock.
A few days after I gave the chocolates, I was coming home from my grocery store and I ran into Joanna.
Joanna smiled: “Hi, we have really enjoyed the chocolates!”
“This is going to sound a little strange, but I was wondering if you and the kids could use a bale of soft toilet paper? You see, I don’t like soft toilet paper, but I had to buy some because of the Covid 19 shortage. I was just at the store and I was able to buy a bale of Charmin Ultra Strong. I was wondering if you and the kids want the soft stuff?”
She smiled: “Sure we can use it.”
I stuttered again: “I know it sounds strange that I would offer it, but I didn’t want it to just sit in my laundry room unused.”
She smiled; “With this Covid 19 thing, nothing is that strange.”
“Okay, I will leave it on your stoop.”
I was thinking: Loving is hard and sometimes awkward. I hope she understands that I am trying love her and the kids and not impress her with toilet paper.
On my birthday last year, my sister gave me a Toy Story Duke Caboom Pull n Go as a joke gift. My sister is a wonderful human being, but I have come to expect getting less than useful gifts from her. I love her to death, but she is a liberal and gift giving, or politics are not her strongest attributes. Liberals tend to want to give you what they think you need, not what you want or really need. So, I had this child’s toy and I thought: Charley might like it?
I was sitting in my office writing and I looked out my window and saw Joanna, Miley, and Charley get out of their car and heading for their apartment. I grabbed Duke Caboom and raced for the front door. I stepped out on the landing and saw Charley at the top of the stairs with Joanna and Miley coming up the stairs behind him.
Charley smiled at me and said: “HI”
I walked over to Charley with my Duke Caboom still in his plastic package. I nodded to Joanna and I asked her: “How old is Charley?”
Joanna offered: “He is 3 years old.”
I showed everyone my Duke Caboom: “The package says that this is for 3 years old or older? My sister gave it to me as a joke gift, but I thought Charley could use it more than I could.”
Joanna smiled and nodded. I gave Charley my Duke Caboom.
Charley got excited and clutched his new treasure.
Joanna prompted Charley: “Charley, please tell Jim thank you.”
Charley beamed: “Thank You”
I turned to Miley.
“In storage, I have a stuffed Tweety Bird and a stuffed hippopotamus. Which do you like better?”
She lit up and smiled: “I like hippos!”
I looked to Joanna: “I need to get it out of storage. I will set it on your stoop. If it’s okay with you?”
Joanna smiled: “Thank you Jim. That would be great.”
After I got back from storage, it was raining out and I had to protect Miley’s hippo from the rain. I found a dry spot on their landing, sat the Hippo down and knocked on the door. I then went back to my place on the other side of the landing. After that, I occasionally checked on the Hippo through my door peephole and it wasn’t long before it found a new home with sweet little Miley.
The next day, it was a beautiful day. I love the weather after a good rain. I went out and bought some groceries. When I got back, I found orange construction paper with scribbling all over it, at the top, Joanna wrote for Charley: “Thank you! ♥ Charley”. Behind was another blue construction paper sign written by Miley: “Thank You! Miley ♥”. Miley wrote her own note and drew a picture of a girl with long hair. I was impressed! Miley is only 5. I don’t think I could write at age 5.
I got out a piece of copy paper and wrote: “Dear Miley and Charley, thank you so much for your thank you note. You brightened my day so much!” I taped it to their door and knocked. I went back to my apartment and as before, I saw through my peephole that my note was accepted and gone.
A couple of days later, I came home and found some painted leaves and a note on a post card written by Joanna and Miley:
Miley (written in crayon by Miley).
We collected things from nature & painted them. Miley really wanted to make you some too😀. Have a great day!
I got another piece of copy paper and wrote:
“Miley, I love the leaves and I will put them in special place in my home! Thank you so much!”
I delivered it to their door as before. I placed my new treasures on a nightstand that I had next to my TV. I was using a black dresser drawer and nightstand as my entertainment center in my new apartment. It was especially useful and suggested by my realtors when I sold my house. Before that, my TV hung off my wall with just cords draping from it. My ex-wife took my entertainment center when she moved out of the house. My realtor was very resourceful, and I was lucky to choose her services to sell my house.
A couple of days later, I saw Joanna, Miley, and Charley on my landing as we were all entering our respective apartments.
After our first greetings, I exclaimed: “Miley, I loved your painted leaves! I have placed them in my house in a special place!”
Miley beamed and Joanna looked at her opening her mouth in surprise and then Joanna laugh.
I was feeling a lot of love for these neighbors.
A couple of days after that, I came home and found another post card taped to my door. It just said Miley and had a lot of hearts drawn it.
I really didn’t know if Miley did this by herself or not. I thought I should alert Joanna somehow. Rather than just knocking and embarrassing sweet little Miley. I remembered that I had another big stuffed panda bear in storage and it was part of the stuff I was saving for my daughter. However, I didn’t want Charley to feel left out, so I went to Walmart and I found this little car with Charley’s name on it. Yes, it had Charley’s name on it!
On the post card that Miley wrote, I added: “For Miley and Charley”. I placed the stuffed bear and little car on their doorstep and taped the post card on top. I killed two birds with one stone. I alerted Joanna to the possibility that Miley was passing me notes and Miley and Charley got some new treasures.
As I wrote this, I still didn’t know that much about Joanna, Miley, and Charley, but that was not my goal. We don’t know if the good Samaritan even talked to the hurt Jew in the parable given to us by Jesus. We just know that the hurt Jew was in the path of the Samaritan and the Samaritan took him to the inn and paid for his recovery. Joanna, Miley, and Charley were not only in my path, but they were my neighbors and I had to love them as commanded by Jesus.
Loving them also filled my heart with joy. I am reminded of the movie “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Little Scout kept finding little gifts from her neighbor Boo in a tree that set between their properties. Of course, Boo’s greatest gift was when he saved them from being molested in the park. I hope I never have to save sweet little Miley and Charley. Pedophilia is so evil.
If you want to learn more about Jim and Homey, please visit my website at http://www.homeysadventures.com