By Linda Wallace

Author's thoughts on the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Best Neighbor Award

I live in a great neighborhood. On our block you find a myriad mix of ethnicity, life style and personality.

A middle-aged couple who were born in the Philippines live next door to me. They regularly extend invitations to their grandsons’ birthday parties where lumpia, pancit and adobo are served.

The rhodies in the photo above are grown by an elderly Vietnamese couple who live across the street from me. Theirs is a multigenerational home, but the old folks do the gardening. One of their relatives is a Catholic priest who frequently holds prayer groups at their house.

An Ethiopian family live next to the Vietnamese. The wife is a nurse. The husband has a degree in theology and recently sold his import shop. The oldest daughter is studying journalism at the University of Missouri in my home state.

We have Hispanics, Tongans, blacks and whites. A gay couple, artists, musicians and mechanics.

One of our neighbors is a woman who owns an art installation business. If you see a new art exhibition at the Frye Art Museum or one of the large downtown Seattle corporations, chances are it was set up by the woman who lives on our block. I intended to include a picture of her art car, but she’s not at home, and I’m too impatient to wait for her return to get the shot.

But the person I especially want to write about today is a man who was originally from Kansas. He survived a deadly tornado there as a child and went on to become a machinist and cook in the Navy. A large man, he’s married to a tiny Japanese woman. Now he’s retired and takes care of everybody on our block. He put up the support structure for the grapes in my garden. He fixed the lights in my home’s entryway. He drives my husband and me to the airport whenever we travel and picks us up when we return.

Saturday, we visited him in the hospital. He’s been diagnosed with colon and stomach cancer. Friday, the surgeons removed a big section of his colon. Chemotherapy for the stomach cancer comes next. But in spite of the anxiety and fear he must be experiencing, two days before his surgery he changed the oil and sharpened the blade on my lawnmower. In the hospital one day after a major procedure, he cracked jokes and played the role of genial host. You could never find a better neighbor, and I’m sending all good wishes for his full recovery.

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At 10:54 AM, Blogger It's OK to be WEIRD! said...

Hi Linda! Came to your blog via ERC message board. Just wanted to stop in and say HI! I'm just a bit north of you, up here in BC Canada. Small world, eh? I look forward to having a look around your blog and getting to know you a bit better.

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Linda Wallace said...

Your blog is lovely--graphically and spiritually. I was happy to have found it.


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