Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Man Next Door, Part One

I have the neatest story to tell you.

Shortly after we moved into our neighborhood, I learned there was a really interesting man next door. He'd lived in our town for his 90+ years and was filled with good stories about local history.

You would think I hurried over to introduce myself. Nope. I told myself if I bumped into him, we'd chat, but I wasn't going to extend myself. I'd come out of my last neighborhood feeling bruised, broken, and vulnerable. I was running away from something instead of toward something, and if my new neighbors didn't reach out to me, I pretty much kept to myself. Tim prodded me to meet him, saying, "I really think you would hit it off." But I resisted.

Finally, late last year a knock came at the door. A young woman introduced herself as my elderly neighbor's caregiver, and handed me a slip of paper with a phone number on it.

I'd been summoned next door.

I arranged a babysitter and headed out. I walked upstairs to the bedroom where George spent his days, unable to walk as a result of a bout with polio when he was a young husband and father. Now I knew why I'd never bumped into him in the yard.

Within seconds, my fears vanished, and I was enthralled by what my charming neighbor had to say. We hit it off instantly, taking about history, politics, and faith. And even though I was paying a sitter by the hour, I didn't want to go home. I realized how much time I'd missed out on getting to know a kindred spirit.

As things wound down, George told me why he'd invited me over. I'd been summoned because George's daughter and granddaughter had read Rare Bird. George had also written a book. He'd started writing a novel way back in the 70's and wanted my professional advice. Could we talk agents, publishers, and publicity?

A few hours later, I walked back across the lawn carrying a cardboard box with three black binders in it-- George's manuscript--that had been around almost as long as I had.

I was excited but apprehensive.

I loved meeting my new friend, and was looking forward to reading his work, but what if it wasn't any good?

Read Part Two Here

Read Part Three Here



7 comments:

ellen said...

I love this. And hope there are lots of parts to the story!

Sharon in Indy said...

What?! You're going to stop there? Come on....

Pat said...

Gee Anna, I hope part 2 to this post coming soon, my curiousity has been aroused!!

KathyC said...

How awesome! And how fun! Wishing you many uninterrupted hours of reading!

katrynka said...

I'm excited to hear where this goes!!

Jeanie said...

Such good writing. You left me on tenterhooks.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I'm intrigued. So glad you were summoned to meet him.