Or the View From the Beach
Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood,In your neighborhood, in your neighborhood.Say who are the people in your neighborhood--The people that you meet each day? ~Jeffery Moss
It was my understanding that when the In Your Neighborhood blog spot was conceived of by the TNT its purpose was to inform readers of what was happening in the various neighborhoods that make up the South Puget Sound Area. Very quickly it became something greater than that. It became a neighborhood itself. This e-neighborhood has become a venue for the sharing of ideas and stories, some frivolous and fun, some of grave importance not only to our neighborhood, but to the nation as well.
A good neighborhood is a collection of diverse individuals and families who care about the community as a whole. Not everyone in a neighborhood always agrees all of the time, but good neighbors support each other with respect and tolerance for the diversity of ideas that make up the world. The In Your Neighborhood blog spot is just such a neighborhood. We laugh, argue, and rejoice with one another.
I feel privileged to be a part of a neighborhood inhabited by so many talented and caring people. More than once I’ve called on the Neighborhood to turn on the mojo and I’ve felt the power surging through the ether. Through the magic of this little contraption called a computer my neighborhood has been increased many fold and enriched.
Kim, young and energetic, reminds us of how amazing Tacoma is and keeps us dancing to a Gritty tune. Patty’s enthusiasm for life shows in her writing and her emails reminding us that she cares. Jaynie shines a light on stories great and small that might otherwise escape our notice. VW’s whit and point of view alternately has me rolling on the floor in gales of laughter and pulling out my hair, adding texture and layers to the conversation and he’s been too long absent from the ‘hood. Tracy keeps us informed of what’s happening in the hinterland out there toward our beloved mountain. Mizu enriches our lives with her art and family stories and her thoughtful quiet way brings a special grace to our neighborhood. Lorraine, sweet Lorraine (this is where you have to imagine I can insert a YouTube of Frank Sinatra), brings us music, balance, keeps us safe from the wee buggies and occasionally shares glimpses of her remarkable life. And Joseph. Joseph keeps us real, reminding us that love is all we need, that "we all need someone to lean on."
Today I reached out to Joseph via cyber space and he did me a huge favor. At ten thirty last night my phone rang here in Ilwaco. It was a dear friend in Gig Harbor phoning to say that in a few hours she was going to have a triple by-pass. A life-long diabetic who is losing her sight, she also has difficulty tolerating anesthesia and nearly died from a previous surgery. She was calling to say goodbye, just in case. She told me she felt lucky to have lived with her disease for forty-plus years and that regardless what happened everything would be fine. This amazing little woman wanted a family and so against doctors advice had two sons who are nearly grown. When her sister died she took in her niece to keep her out of the foster care system. I felt like she still has work to do.
I went to bed praying that she’d survive the surgery and see her children to adulthood. Being 150 miles away when someone you love is ill is hard although I know my being there would not make anything any better. Then I remembered where my friend was. St. Joseph’s. I emailed Joseph, St. Joseph's chaplin and Blog Squad member, and asked him if he had time to look in on my friend. It was a long surgery. Beginning at 8 AM, she did not come out of surgery until 3 PM. Joseph was not able to see her because she was still unconscious, but he emailed me and that was all I needed—to know that she survived the surgery. That simple act of finding out that she survived the surgery sent relief surging through my body.
Whatever the TNT envisioned for the In Your Neighborhood blog, it has become a neighborhood unto itself. A place where we share ideas and stories, are listened to and validated and, yes, sometimes disagreed with. We are a palette of colors that paint the South Sound.