Most days, I think my neighbors do a better job at “neighboring” than I do: they invite me to parties, let me borrow yard tools (OK, Husband borrows the tools), and allow me to use their phone when I’ve locked myself out of the house.
Neighboring is hard. You have to be home, dressed, and in a social mood (you may get two of these things from me, but rarely all three at the same time). My introverted self needs regular reminders not to hide when someone knocks on the door and I almost have to schedule my intentional relational time by just “happening” to be outside while looking nice and fussing over my petunias for an extended period of time. Of course, that happens to be the day everyone is gone on summer vacation. Oh well, I tried. I’ll schedule another attempt next month.
Thankfully, this week my neighbor caught me in between leaving my car sanctuary and entering my home fortress and shared another wonderful benefit of neighboring: beautiful garden bounty!
I love gardening, I really do, and by that, I mean I love to admire other people’s gardens and eat their produce. I like the idea of my own garden, but I do not like the idea of bugs, weeds, and heat. I do try to do my part, though, by eating free ugly vegetables and sometimes waking up early enough to go to farmer’s markets.
This week, we got eggplant.
I’ve only eaten it fried or under a pile of parmesan, so I asked for some cooking suggestions. My neighbor said to slice it, brush it with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle it with some salt and pepper, and then grill it on both sides.
I don’t think I like eggplant.
But I tried it. And that’s what counts. And now I’ll have something to talk to my neighbor about, when I happen to be dressed up and pretending to mow the lawn.