Peter and I had a thank you dinner party on Sunday night, August 18, for the neighbors who helped when he had an automobile accident in June. Good neighbors are an amazing blessing and all these people at our dinner table live within three houses of us.
I’m taking the picture at the head of the table. On my right, Brian is the person who called me in Houston when I was on my way to Washington DC to sing at Kennedy Center and told me about the accident and I came home immediately. Peter is doing well and it doesn’t look like any permanent damage but it was quite serious and the car was totaled.
Debbie, Brian’s wife who is next to her, had been in the hospital and we had brought food to her, so there was actually a point that we were bringing food to each other.
On my left is my assistant Katie. She looked after things until I got home and then picked me up from the airport shuttle and helped Peter and me organize things with insurance and doctors, etc.
Next to Katie are the neighbors Chuck and Ann actually live next-door to Katie and one house away from Debbie and Brian who live next door to us. As soon as Chuck and Ann heard about the accident, they immediately brought food over to us.
We had a terrific party. We had appetizers on the deck and it was a gorgeous evening. And then after dinner we went back on the deck and we actually saw the little light that looks like a star but moves which is the space station. It was a tiny, tiny, light but we were able to watch it.
With these neighbors, we sometimes share movie nights or watch the Academy Awards together. Sometimes at Christmas we have a progressive dinner where we go to each other’s houses for certain courses. Most of these neighbors have a key to our home so if there is an emergency, even when we’re gone, they can help out. And we have a list of neighbors that we can call at two in the morning – including these – and we have told them they can call us in the middle of the night if there is an emergency.
Debbie and Brian used to own a bed and breakfast which is located next door to us – although it closed about a year and a half ago – and Debbie is an amazing cook and baker so I have borrowed many a cup of sugar or an egg or a dash of chili powder from her when I don’t have my kitchen act together as well is she does. She has taught me to use our food processor, she has the annual cookie exchange at Christmas where I bake 12 dozen cookies. As Debbie has said, I have improved over the last 15 years of taking part in her cookie exchange!