Saturday, June 18, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Neighbors

I grew up in a small subdivision on a private lake in Lapeer, Lapeer, Michigan, USA. It was at Pleasant Lake. And most of the time it was pretty pleasant. Of course there was the occasional neighbor kid that would throw sticks or rocks at the dogs and the little spats with our friends which didn't last long.

All in all though all the neighbors pretty much got along and if one neighbor needed help there was always someone to come to the aid of the neighbor. Everybody pretty much looked out for each other.

My Mom was like the neighborhood babysitter. We had several families in the neighborhood that worked days and when we didn't have school or one of the neighbor kids was sick but not sick enough for their parent to stay home, Mom would watch them. She rarely got paid for it, it was just the neighborly thing to do. Neighbors heading into town would stop and see if anyone needed anything. And if there was a Walt Disney Movie playing in Lapeer our happy little bodies would be in their car headed into town to watch it.

Back then you didn't worry about locking your doors. Nobody ever bothered anything. If they stopped by they might open the door and holler and sometimes leave a note on the table. I have to laugh thinking back on it now, because one day one of the kids mom had been watching played with the locks on the door. We didn't notice it and left to go to town to do our shopping. Got home and door was locked. We didn't have a key on us. (It took one of those skeleton keys). The front door out by the lake was locked because sometimes strong winds would blow it open so we had to lock it so it wouldn't blow open. It took us quite a while (seemed like forever) to break in. The windows all had latches on the inside and then there was the long curtain rod that went across the whole length of the windows. We finally got in but it sure was a job. Let me tell you we always checked from that day on to make sure that door wasn't lock before leaving the house.

In the summer we had a neighborhood picnic, everyone bringing a dish to pass and Halloween there was always a Halloween party in the park and at the one neighbors garage which always bobbing for apples went on.

As we got older in our high school days, some of the neighbors moved and the ones that moved in were not always good neighbors. That was when we put new locks on the door and we all had keys. The older neighbors still watched out for everyone but it just wasn't the same as when we were younger. I sure miss those days!!!

Where we live now it is nothing to see law enforcement at a neighbors house or going past sometimes several times in one day. A lot of breaking into homes and out buildings, drugs, fights, you name it. You never know if it was a shot or fireworks going off. We still try to watch out for our neighbors but it sure does get hard at times. You don't know if that vehicle belongs there or not.

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