Day #11 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! @maurabeth2014 @RRBC_RWISA @RRBC_Org @Tweets4RWISA #RWISA


I heard from my neighbor today. Her name is not Edith.

See, that is why around our house we call her Not-Edith. I won’t put her real name in here, because I don’t think she would like me doing that. Her real name sounds a lot like Edith, but – well, you know the rest. She is a neighbor with whom, once a week for the past four or five years, I have taken a walk. How it happened is this. I was walking one morning and she was coming the other way. I can’t remember if I had a dog or dogs with me, we had two at the time, but she crossed the street and stopped to say hello.

“Well, this is nice,” I thought. This isn’t the friendliest of neighborhoods. I mean, people wave from cars when they go by, but if you pass them out on the street, often they will not talk at all. I think it could be a Jersey thing. I always say hello, and sometimes stop to make a remark to whomever is passing by. I think they may regard me as the “crazy old lady.”

But back to Not-Edith. I was charmed by her gesture and stopped to talk to her, ask where she lived, and so forth. She seemed lonely. She suggested we could walk together and we settled on meeting to do just that, once a week. That started the habit and we have been walking ever since.

Not-Edith got her name because I was writing a story that had a minor character named Edith. When telling George I was leaving for my walk one day, I said I was meeting Edith, probably because that name was in my mind. For some reason, George thought it would be funny to call her Edith and I kept saying, “she’s NOT Edith” out of exasperation. I was afraid that I would call her Edith by mistake. This is a thing George does, thinking – no, hoping – he can confuse me. For instance, he calls another neighbor, whose name is Chuck and who is the grumpiest person on the planet, “Chuckles.” He is just waiting for me to call him Chuckles, I can feel it. We also have a neighbor named Ira, who is always angry about something. George calles him “Irate.” I have almost slipped and called him Irate several times. I won’t tell you any more, although there are more examples of George’s “nickname” habit. I don’t want to encourage George in case he reads this. George – it is not funny!

Not-Edith is not a happy person, and I have often thought of stopping our walks because sometimes she depresses me. She is almost as grumpy as Chuckles, always complaining about something or someone. Most days when I meet her, her shoulders are slumped and she has a strained expression on her face. I will think “Uh oh,” and sometimes ask, “What’s wrong?” Which is silly, because then she will go into a tirade about someone who played loud music all night, or watered their lawn and wasted water, or whatever got on her nerves. But, I keep walking with her because she became a widow at the beginning of the pandemic and I don’t have the heart to desert her. I just try to be upbeat and not call her by the wrong name.

We are walking tomorrow morning. I’ll do my best to cheer her up, but what are the odds? And I will try really hard not to call her Edith.

by Maura Beth Brennan

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15 thoughts on “Day #11 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! @maurabeth2014 @RRBC_RWISA @RRBC_Org @Tweets4RWISA #RWISA

  1. You are a very nice neighbor, but I would find a way to let her know in advance that you won’t be walking any more. I had one neighbor I used to walk with for a while.

    As for the neighbor who may not speak to you outside of the neighborhood, it could be a case of not recognizing you out of her element. That happened to me with my neighbor. Turns out her goddaughter was marrying my nephew and I almost didn’t recognize her. What a twist of fate. Thankfully I recovered quickly.


  2. Hi Maura Beth! My goodness, I can appreciate what a difficult situation this is for you. Truly, you are a kind-hearted person to stick with Not Edith. I’ve been through the same type of “friendship” as well, but at some point there always ended up being a genuine change in my schedule. Eventually, we drifted apart. I always want the best for people, but very often they seem to go on being miserable. As sensitive as I am, I find it hard to take. Best of luck with this ! : )

    Best wishes,
    Donna M Atwood
    D M Atwood


  3. Poor Not-Edith, she sounds sad and alone. You are doing a good deed by walking with her. And it’s not a Jersey thing for people being unfriendly, and I thought it was a Long Island thing not to say hello to people you know. I’ve gotten to the point where I search a person’s face to see if they’re being friendly before I even attempt a greeting.


  4. Hi Maura Beth,

    Thanks for introducing us to your neighbors. The group mixture does seem to drop a few chuckles into circle. Inside that circle, there are bound to be all types of people. And that’s what I see here.

    I agree with Pat, losing a loved one does bring on raw emotions; and can make one feel bitter about others and life. Knowingly, the loss itself hasn’t been that long; so it (too) is raw. I do applaud you (Maura Beth) for having a shoulder for NOT-Edith to cry/lean on.

    Who knows, she may look forward to daily walks with you by her side (if but not for that brief moment). I weep in pain to discover her heart-breaking moment. For certain, one never knows the journey till one experiences it. ‘Tis a heart-breaking but interesting story. Maura Beth, thanks for sharing. Perhaps, Creator put you in her circle for a reason. You are a great friend!


  5. Hi, Maura Beth! There was a time in my life when I WAS Not-Edith. If I’d had a friend like you, with your positive attitude, I might have pulled out of my negative funk much sooner. I admire you for keeping your walking dates, and I’m sure she’s grateful for your company. Your husband sounds like he’s as much fun as you are! Speaking of names, I forgot my firstborn’s name when I introduced someone I knew to her. I remembered the other person’s name, but not the name I gave my daughter at birth and called her by every day of her life. Awkward.



  6. HI Maura Beth,
    She‘s lonely. I don‘t know if she has children but losing her husband right before the pandemic may have made her bitter. I‘m glad that you‘re walking with her. It probably makes her day.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I see you aren’t the only witty person in your family, Maura Beth. 😉 I can never remember anyone’s name (unless they are a close friend), so I try to avoid names whenever possible. It sounds like you are a bit of sunshine surrounded by cloudy people. I understand why not-Edith gravitated to you. She has learned that negative behavior and doesn’t know any other way of being, but something deep in her psyche sees your light and is attracted to it. Keep shining that light and steering your conversations to positive topics whenever she complains. But if her dark clouds start to diminish your light to the point where you feel drained, you may just need to walk away to protect your own psyche. I hope the alternative happens, and you break through her hard years to teach her how to smile and laugh.

    Yvette M Calleiro 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. George and hubby would get along great! Chuckles, Irate🤣—I’d be afraid Cart would call them that so I’d never talk to them in his presence! Love this! Congrats on eleven days!🎉👏🏽


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