Sunday, July 20, 2014

Our Neighbors From The Twilight Zone

"Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God ... let your words be few."   ... Ecclesiastes 5:2


I'm thinking our neighbors, Paul and Robin, moved here from the Twilight Zone. Why? Because they've been married forever like Tom and I have, they're both home nearly all the time, yet they never run out of things to talk about. 

Whenever we have gorgeous weather (which is, like, the hundreds of non-winter days), Paul and Robin sit outside on their covered patio behind the fence we share and they talk. With each other. Both speaking for hours.

I've never heard anything like it. I'll leave to go shopping, hear them chatting quietly, and then when I return and put my key into the backdoor, they're still conversing. Still. Morning and afternoon after morning and afternoon. Evenings, too.

During our nearly 3 years at Hobbit Cottage, I've never heard them argue(!) The only times they raise their voices is to yell at their new little orange barking dog (they're currently training him. I don't think he likes me. Alas.).

But other than that? No, they read the newspaper and share stories and well, they just quietly converse. What about I'm not sure--it's not like I'd try listening. I mean hey, I'm not weird that way.

No, I'm just flabbergasted. I mean, when Tom and I Skype daily, we average 12-minute conversations and often we rack our brains to keep the conversation going that long. We even scribble notes beside our computers so we'll remember what to tell the other person later the next day. And usually there's a whole lot of, "Well, that's about it. All I can think of. I guess I'll let you go."

Did you see that Bible verse at the top of this post about letting your words be few? I think Tom and I have that one down, pat. 

And you know?That's ok. We love each other deeply as only old married couples can, but our talking style is more spur-of-the-moment. More here, there, don't-need-to-share-every-tiny-detail-and-certainly-don't-need-to-fill-in-uncomfortable-silences. We don't have those. We're comfortable.

Also? There's loads we try hard not to chat about:

Gossipy subjects.
Peoples' negative qualities.
Forecasting bad things that might happen.
Mean things spoken to us by others (unless it really hurt and we need to share the burden. But that's rare.).
Complainy, whiny topics. Things we cannot change, especially politics and clueless people in the news. Etc.)

Well, you get it. 

Anyway, I think Paul and Robin's steady stream of conversation is a wonderful thing! Rare. They're super neighbors and I'm grateful for them. 

But I also think Tom's and my style of communication fits us just right and is special, as well. It works for us both and that's what matters. Trying to force our way into others' godly abilities, attempting to fix things which are not broken, both tend to only lead to problems.

And haven't we all got just about enough of those already?  :)


"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble."   Proverbs 21:23

"... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."   ... Philippians 4:8

If we try to act like others, we never discover what God created us to be.


R.I.P. James Garner. Tom and I especially enjoyed his work on The Rockford Files (and oh, those tacos for breakfast on the beach!). 

Here's a very complimentary article about him.


Terra said...

My husband and I are like you, we don't do a lot of chatting. We talk but not all day long. Different people I guess.

Debbie V. said...

Bob and I don't talk a lot or often. For some reason conversations just don't "go" anywhere. I'm not sure why, but it's the way it is.

It is nice that your neighbors do enjoy talking about daily things even after all these years. It sounds like they are a good match :)

Rhonda said...

your neighbors sound amazing. I am in awe of their ability to enjoy each others company so much. You don't see that often in 2014.

I am a fan of James Garner too

Rosemary said...

Loved this post, Debra. The image of your neighbor couple sitting and just talking is comforting to me (for some reason). Perhaps they don't own computers :)

Anonymous said...

Nice to know we are not alone. Seems my husband can talk forever to others but to me...well, not so much. I have admired couples like your neighbors too. Seen and heard them in restaurants and such. Talking about news articles and traveling or whatever. You can hear their conversations in the booth behind us. Sometimes I would like to make a comment to something they are talking about! :) My favorites are the Christians who even have other couples with them and go on forever about their faith. In a good natural way. I have at times said thank you to them for encouraging me through their public speaking. Then there are those who might not talk but do bow their heads to pray. Ahhh.... Sarah

Bonnie said...

How comforting and thought provoking your writing is today, Debra. Old married couples (like us) are fun to watch. Everyone does it differently. Actually, with our empty nest we find we are at a loss for something scintillating to share lots of times. It just has to be that way, I guess. Dinner time was a real adjustment, for sure. I like to watch really young couples out for dinner, too. Like maybe not even married yet. People, and the "dance" they do interacting, is like watching a picture being painted. : ) My husband and I will head to WNY at 6:30 am tomorrow...I'll wave as we whiz by on the expressway!