Tuesday, May 13, 2008


When I hear the word neighbor, my thoughts go immediately to this woman, Lilly Partain. We met in 1980 when we first moved here. My introduction to her was having to go ask to use her phone first thing. Her answer was "of course, honey, help yourself."

It was the start of a lifetime friendship that I dearly miss. I do not even know where to begin. I think being sick this weekend brought to mind how sometimes when one of us was sick, she would fix a big pot of what she called goulash and call one of us to come get a bowl of it. It was always so good--it was sort of a chili mac dish. And tasted so good...hamburger, onions, garlic, tomatos--especially if you had a cold or something like I have had.

She is pictured here with our youngest daughter. I am sorry to say that I think this is the only photo I have of her...but it shows her just like she was. She spoiled these kids as if they were her own grandchildren. When our oldest daughter started kindergarten, for some reason, we had to take them as well as pick them up. No riding the school bus.

Sarah did not want to get up and get dressed just to deliver her sister to school. So every morn, I would call Aunt Luddy as the kids called her and say, "she's on her way" to let her know Sarah was coming over. Sarah went over and had cookies and milk while watching Scoopy Doo. That was the morning ritual about 90% of the time.

Lilly did not drive, so when I went to the store, I always called her to see if she wanted to go or needed anything. If she wanted to go, she could be ready in about 5 minutes flat cause she always got up, got dressed, and was ready to meet the day. Her house was always just spotless. She liked reading, but she loved bingo and lottery tickets!

When our children were really small, we did not always have a lot of money, so every now and then she would call me and tell me to get ready and we would take the kids to Dogs-n-Suds--her treat. Dogs-n-Suds was just a little restaurant that served burgers, fries, and root beer in ice cold glass mugs.

We always had each other to 'borrow' from...it probably only happened a couple or three times a year but you just cannot believe how I miss having someone to call and say hey, I need a cup of milk or do you have vanilla extract. I hate being all ready to make something only to discover I need a key ingredient. And we always worded it as 'borrow,' but both knew it would not be actually paid back...other than being there when one of us needed something the next time.

And when I mowed the yard, a big part of the time I would look up when I was half way through and there she would be on her front porch with an ice cold coke for me. I would go and we would sit and visit while I drank the coke.

She has been dead about 4 years now and I think I miss her more as the years go by. It seems like we don't have time to be neighbors like that any more. Everyone is so busy working and trying to do just what they have to do. When we are going to be gone for a few days we have good neighbors that we tell. But, it just isn't quite like it used to be and I miss it.