HAMMERTIME: Our neighbours can also be our very good friends

In this week’s Hammertime; what it means to be a neighbour and a friend

I was carefully walking away from a busy Farmer’s Market last weekend with a gallon pail of fresh Saskatoon’s in each hand and visions of lots of pie and ice-cream on my mind when I suddenly heard a friendly voice say, ‘Hello. Don’t I know you from Ponoka?’

After introductions I did finally recognize the very pleasant lady from her work at FCSS but on that day she was volunteering at a booth that was handing out Hello Neighbour badges and pamphlets to everyone who passed by.

I enjoyed reading the little brochure that was entitled Great Neighbours, and suggest to everyone that familiarizing ourselves with our neighbours can be as easy as getting some fresh air and sharing a smile with those that we see, and often stop and chat with along the way.

There is no doubt that out and around each and every neighbourhood, the more casual and friendly contact that we can have with our neighbours the more that they will feel welcome and look forward to meeting new friends and becoming a part of the block party. Browsing through this neat little book full of friendly tips, it joyfully reminded me of that special time when our little family moved into the Riverside district of Ponoka and so many people came over and warmly welcomed us with a pie or a box of cookies, a great old tradition that is a perfect way to start casual and friendly relationships, and I hope still carries on to this day?

Some of the very simple little tips of being a good neighbour and friend include: a casual hello, to pledge a handshake a week, a wave (which feels so good when it is returned), stopping and chatting about the neighbourhood, and a few little acts of kindness. So why be neighbourly you might ask. Because it can boost our physical and mental health, enhance safety, encourage us to look out for one another, to socialize and to build new friendships while enjoying open conversation and reducing conflicts. Our kids can play together, we might babysit for each other, and we could help each other with yard and snow maintenance as well as house sitting. When neighbours support, share, and care for each other they will establish strong roots within a friendly and family network that spreads throughout the community.

Now let’s have just a little more fun

• You don’t have to be crazy to be my friend, I will train you. Remember When? We could refer to our knees and hips as right and left instead of good and bad? Those were the good old days eh? I just added a new twist to my fitness program, I’m working out while I’m cooking bacon.

• Here are some of the world’s best advertising signs: At the Tire shop – please invite us to your next blowout. At the Electrician shop: let us remove your shorts and shocks. At the Propane filling station: Thank heaven for little grills. On a Plumber’s truck: We repair what your husband fixed. At the Shoe Repair Shop: Our promise of great service is that we will heel you, we will save your soul, and we will even dye for you.

A few neat tips to make it easier

• Use a fork to keep your taco shells steady while filling them. It will however not be that easy to avoid shaking with joy while we are eating them.

• Use a paper clip to hold one end steady when you are trying to put on a bracelet and you have no one to help you connect with those fiddly little snap-ons.

• Threading a needle can be so frustrating. Try spraying the thread with a touch of hair-spray, which will assure it to go in first try.

• Try using pool noodles cut to size to keep your tall boots standing upright and crease free. A long piece of raw spaghetti is a perfect tool to light those hard-to-reach candles and will avoid burning your fingers and wasting lots of matches.

Welcome to the good of boys and girls and their toys as the Central Alberta Vintage Motorcycle Group roars into town this week for their Antique Rally from July 28th to 30th at the Ponoka Stampede grounds, and spectators are always welcome. As we just keep on rolling through this ‘super summer,’ have a great week, all of you.

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