As Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bee sit on their front porch on a Sunday morning, they speak to and about the different folks passing by on their way to church. Andy pops off a line as he waves saying, "Mornin' Eli. Good service, we went to the early one."
As another family passes, Aunt Bee remarks, "Look there Andy. Four generations...all going to church together. There's Claude Sr., Claude Jr, Plain Claude Beamon and Claudette...."
Point being... When is the last time you took the time to just relax on the porch, or on your deck, or out in your yard? When is the last time you can remember speaking to your neighbors by name as they walked past your house? Most would probably have to admit that it's been a while...and probably a long while. I know as I am out in my yard, walking the block or riding bikes around the neighborhood with my wife, or even if I see folks walking or jogging as I walk out to the street to check the mail, I now make it a mission to speak to folks in a personable way. I try to shake their hand if I can. If nothing else, I will resort to making a comment about the weather (as corny as that sounds).
Why...when we were kids, we knew all the folks in the neighborhood...and they all knew us. We had old fashion "Block Parties" and all the kids went to the same public school. We'd make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pack it in a paper bag with a can of sardines and head off on our bikes to play all day. We swam, fished and caught frogs, snakes and turtles in the creek. We climbed trees and made forts in the woods. We even hunted small game with our BB, Pellet or even .22 caliber single shot rifles. And heaven forbid, we even drank water from the garden hose in the back yard...and it was all okay.
Life seemed a little slower paced back then. People looked out for one another, and their children. People spoke to one another and knew each other's families. I think it's a shame that we've allowed life to get so hectic...and so my challenge to myself and to you is to do exactly as our friends in Mayberry did in those episodes...relax and enjoy just doing nothing. Speak to your neighbors.
Go and sit on the porch with a friend or relative and count cars like Barney and Miss Mendlebright did. Try to peel and apple without breaking the peeling like Andy did for Mr. Tucker. And take the advice of Dr. Harrison Everett Breen, "Slow down. Take it easy. WHAT'S your hurry? What indeed friends, is your hurry?"
a.k.a Col. Harvey