When I die I want someone to find my body quickly. I don’t want people to find me in front of a TV somewhat well preserved. Please check on me–please make sure I haven’t fallen into a very deep sleep watching repeats of Laverne and Shirley.
Vincenzo Ricardo wasn’t so fortunate. I just read about a 70-year-old man who died watching TV and no one knew for a year until police happened upon him. The police had been called to investigate some pipes and came upon poor Vincenzo. His neighbors thought he was in a nursing home and didn’t bother to check on him. He was dead in his chair propped in front of the television for a whole year and no one knew. Doesn’t that bother you?
What has happened to community? No more borrowing sugar–or eggs like in Spain. Does anyone have a real neighborhood anymore where they actually get together and have barbecues and give each other a hand? Lately the only hand I seem to see is when I’m driving and it only has one finger up–how dare I drive only 10 miles over the speed limit. Why can’t we all live in “Wisteria Lane” with the Desperate Housewives where they all take care of each other?
I know I’m saying part of this with my tongue-in-check, but I do want a community. I want to know my neighbors. Wouldn’t you feel horrible to find out that a neighbor had been dead for a year in his house and no one knew! I live in an apartment now–in a transient community–but hope we will find a house in a real neighborhood soon.
My husband and I were reading a book called Bowling Alone — for my husband’s thesis. It was very interesting some of the research that the author uncovered regarding the “collapse” of community in America. He mentions how television, the suburbs, and two-income families have all contributed to this lack of community. Some of his research is quite eye-opening–like the decrease in crime when there is real community. My husband and I want to be able to walk our kids to school. We want to walk to the store, to have dinner with our neighbors and watch the neighborhood kids playing from our porch in the summertime, and our society doesn’t seem to be like that anymore. Maybe we have been in Europe too long. At the same time I want to blog on my computer, and I enjoy being able to work a bit outside my home. I don’t really want to go back in time to Mayberry–I can’t sew and don’t think I could quilt, but I do want a walkable community. I do want to connect with other people in person and not just on my blog. I want to walk to the farmer’s market and run into Mrs. Whatshername who lives on the corner with her 4 cats and grows such wonderful tomatoes. You can’t have it all can you? What is community to you?