When we talk about healthy neighbourhoods, we understand that food is a staple that brings neighbours together. But we never thought our favourite spring rolls would play a part in our neighbourhood the way our experience unfolded. At the time, we had only lived in our neighbourhood for a couple years and had been more intentional about connecting with neighbours. At that time, my husband Chad and I were looking for a lady I had bought spring rolls from before at a local market. I decided to post an ad on a Facebook Buy and Sell site, searching for her, and ended up getting a flood of responses from people, telling me who she was and how good her spring rolls were. I messaged her about it and we started talking about the spring rolls and how I would pick them up. We discussed it, and she said she could drop off the spring rolls if I didn’t live too far away. Since I have small children, I thought this would be great, so we discussed where each other live. I told her I live close to downtown Red Deer to which she responded, “So do I.” Then I proceeded to tell her I lived in the Fairview neighbourhood, and she responded with “Oh, I live in Fairview too.” Albeit, this was a surprise to both of us, we continued to tell each other where we lived. “This will be perfect – I will just walk to your house.” She asked for my address and then said, “We are neighbours! I live just a few doors down from you.” So, she came over, and I now have access to an endless supply of our favourite spring rolls. From this time we met, she was able to tell us a lot of stories about our neighbourhood since she had lived there forever. We not only learned a lot about the history of where we lived for two years, but we started to discuss the future of our neighbourhood. We talked about having an ice cream social in the neighbourhood and about the block parties that used to exist. We learned about her history with spring rolls and abut her plans. It opened the eyes of a couple of neighbours in terms of our neighbourhood. As it stands, we were certainly grateful in many ways and have come to appreciate the value of neighbours. And it all stared because I wanted to get some of our favourite spring roles for my husband’s birthday.
Over the past year a number of neighbourhood leaders and business men helped orchestrate a brand new ‘third space’ called the “Good Neighbour CoffeeHouse.” This business supports initiatives that help neighbours connect and for people to “bloom where they are planted.” The space features true stories from various neighbourhoods, private tours for neighbouorhoods, and a regular place in which neighbours can bump into each other. And we would like to invite you to our open house this Saturday, June 17th from 7am – 7pm to celebrate with us. Ribbon cutting at 1:30pm. Official book launch for our book, “Neighouring For Life.” We will be skyping with the farmers who grow our beans in Honduras. And discounting all food and drink items for the day. Thanks for your support!
“I had been having a lot of terrible headaches. On November 6, 2006, they got so bad that I didn’t go to work. My neighbour, Josh, who I had only had very little relationship with (only said “Hi” now and then), became interested in the fact that I had not left for work. He came along and noticed that my truck was still in the backyard, got concerned and phoned up to Edmonton to see if they had heard from me. They hadn’t, so Josh and his wife started looking through the windows and thought they saw something. They called 911, came into my house and found me passed out on the floor. I was taken to Red Deer hospital, and an hour later, to Foothills in Calgary, which is where I woke up. I’d had a brain aneurism and it burst. All I remember is having such bad, bad headaches, and then, ‘bang’, I woke up in Calgary. My neighbour then became my best friend because he saved my life. If it weren’t for Josh, I would not be here today.
Josh and his wife were just my neighbours – I didn’t really know them. But after they helped me out, we became good friends. He went through a divorce and got custody of his son, who called me Grandpa. I used to babysit Jacob quite a bit when I got out of the hospital. There is much to be thankful for when neighbours take an interest in each others lives.
Before the aneurism, we only knew each other as people living next to each other, that’s it. But after my aneurism, Josh visited me in the hospital. He also did lots of other things with me: took me out for dinners, went to Westerner Days in Red Deer, the Ponoka Stampede, rafting on the Red Deer River, BBQs at his house, went to church with him, to Smitty’s Buffet, etc. Josh bought guest passes for the Collicutt Centre, which is also when I taught his son how to swim when he was about 8 or 9. It has been refreshing to see how our relationship has grown.
It took a brain aneurism on my part for my neighbour to invest, literally, in my life. We are now the best of friends; in fact his son, now 13, says I’m his best friend – his dad just gets to come along!