Neighbor Bob

My new-to-me Honda CR-V would not start yesterday at 6 AM in my driveway. I was on my way to work for a 12-hour shift and for a moment I thought I just didn’t know how to start it. You press your foot on the brake, then press the button. So I tried again. The lights flickered and kind of waved goodbye and turned off.

I took this photo on Balboa Island last December.

For a second, I thought I’d have to stay home then I remembered I have another car! Score!

So I took the Fiat instead which is the car I used to drive before I essentially gave it to my daughter.

This morning Neighbor Bob met me outside my house and jump-started the CR-V. Additionally, he showed me exactly how to hook up the cables after I told him that I was scared of jump-starting cars. Then, he drove his red pickup to Pepboys while I followed in my vehicle. He led me inside and told the guy I needed a battery and after I was all set (waiting in the waiting room, sitting on a plastic covered chair), he left.

Afterward, I went to Costco where I donned my medical mask and joined the other shoppers. With every breath my glasses fogged up, so that was awesome.

We all looked like armed robbers with our bandanas and masks. What is happening!?

I was so happy to find paper towels to purchase. What an odd time to be alive when my heart leaps for joy over paper products.

But what you’re really asking yourself is, “Who is Neighbor Bob?”

Neighbor Bob is the man who lives across the street. He is a retired orthodontist, the kind of human being who once appeared on our doorstep and offered to take over my daughter’s orthodontia work for free.

About a year ago, after a sudden job loss, we knew that we’d need to move somewhere, somehow. The where and how were unclear, but the undeniable truth was that we’d need to sell our house.

Have you ever sold a house? I was dreading the entire process. And one day as I drove up my street, I suddenly thought, “Bob should buy our house.”

Now, obviously this makes no sense. Bob already owns a house–the one across the street. But this voice spoke quite clearly to me and so I mentioned it half-laughing to my husband. He looked puzzled but then he jokingly mentioned it to Bob and Bob said, “Hmmm, I might do that.”

You see, Neighbor Bob is a man who likes–or rather, he needs a project. He had redone his entire house when he and his wife purchased it. He redesigned the landscaping and would be often out in the yard with a wheelbarrow and shovel. He’d help neighbors with their yards and houses.

Bottom line: Neighbor Bob bought our house and now we rent back month-to-month. My husband moved to Minnesota last September, so ever since I’ve been here with the kids as we drag this move out so two of my kids can finish up school years. (Did I already tell you that?)

Neighbor Bob solved the problem of water flowing through the garage when it rains. Neighbor Bob has redesigned my front yard and soon there will be a new walkway and stairs and flower boxes. Neighbor Bob takes my trash can in (or out) if I’m not around.

At any rate, we now own a really cute home in Minnesota and we rent this one here in California, too. It’s a lot to juggle but soon life will calm down–for all of us, I sure hope.

Meanwhile, Neighbor Bob continues to be a blessing to our family in a way that I never could have imagined when I decided he should buy our house. Life’s weird sometimes.

3 thoughts on “Neighbor Bob

  1. I’m catching up on your blog after many months being out of the loop… wow. You have had some stories going on! I’m sure there is much more story behind the story and I just want to say that from another relocated California woman who moved here for my husband’s job (which I think is a similar job to your husband’s???), I just want to say that I see you. And also that I feel kind of sad knowing you will not be just down the coast anymore. I always felt like there was a possibility we might meet and become friends in real life. But I will look forward to following your Minnesota adventures. I’m glad you’re still writing here… you inspire me to try a little harder even when I feel very afraid of being seen. Oh, and God bless Neighbor Bob. He sounds truly awesome.


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