Saturday, April 21, 2012

I {heart} old people

I was gonna post long-overdue Easter pictures, but I changed my mind and decided to post about old people instead.

You know what? I think old people get a bad rap.  Sure, there are the inpatient, crotchety ones who shoot daggers over their shoulders at my screeching hoodlums in the back of the chapel, but for the most part...they're actually surprisingly kind.  More times then not, they're the nice ones who tell me I have a beautiful family, remind me, with a smile, how quickly it all goes by, and offer pocket peppermints to my antsy mowglis in the grocery store aisle.  I love how they never seem shocked at the number and ages of my children.  In today's world of 1.5 kids per family, it's nice to talk to people who grew up with a different school of thought.

When we bought our house, I was more then a little nervous about our next door neighbors.  They're an older couple, Ivan and Dorothy, who've lived in the neighborhood for 50+ years.   I just wasn't sure how they'd respond to my (extremely) rowdy children, consistently overgrown lawn, and piles of sun-bleached sand pails.  My mom warned me if I didn't keep things under control, I'd have neighbors who hated me :P

I'm happy to report that my fears were unfounded and, instead, we adore Ivan and Dorothy and they pretty much seem to adore us too.  I think my kids fill a little bit of a hole for them since they don't have family close.  I'm constantly finding the girls chattering and performing at them while they do yard work (which is saying something since Georgia doesn't like many people).  When I make cookies, Ezra loves to take a plate over.  Instead of being annoyed at the interruptions and the occasional flower-picking, they're delighted and doting.  They truly love my children.

Today they brought over some fresh-grown lettuce from their garden.  We attempted to start a garden of our own this spring, but Spencer's 60 hour work weeks have gotten in the way (he's had deadlines looming).  Instead of being bothered by our unplanted dirt patch, they offered understanding and the promise of more fresh produce to come.  It's been a rough week and their kindness nearly brought me to tears.  I'm just so grateful for them and all the other nice old people my life brushes by daily.  In my world of raised eyebrows and public tantrums, a little kindness goes a long, long way.


Coty said...

It's a bummer that you've had a bad week Whitney, I'm sorry about that, but I'm glad that you were given the tender mercy of wonderful neighbors to soften the blows. We had a great elderly couple next door to us in the city; my boys' shenanigans became such a highlight of their everyday lives (and I do me every day!) that they've kept in contact with us long since our 'loud' days as the occupants next door! My kids refer to them as "the other grandparents". I have to agree, I {heart} old people too!

Felicia said...

Amen. We have several old-timers that live in our building. Even the one I was warned about as being "opinionated" goes out of his way to say hello or hold the door for us. Which is something our young, single yuppie neighbors are often too busy to do.

Kristin Hanson said...

Ok, now that's just weird. We have a 90 yr old adorable neighbor named Dorothy, too! And with our houses looking similar, Im feeling a little Twilight Zone music coming on.... :)

Aubrey said...

I heart old people too... even the old crotchety ones, because after living that long you kind of deserve to be a bit crotchety.

Alabama Apples said...

I loved this post! There are so many different personalities in the world and I love how the Lord knows who to put in our lives and when. Sometimes it is the crotchety ones that humble us and teaches us how to find good in all (yep, experienced that one) and other times it is the sweet, loving people who humble us with their out-pouring of love and goodness. We are also used to touch others' lives-our beasties can be there to teach them patience and understanding or to simply bring joy into their lives. Love this post!!! Love you and your rowdy hooligans!