In 2016 I wrote a blog post about Norman. It was a Focus on the Family talk that I heard in 1984. It really made an impact on me so I ordered the cassette tape. Anyway, if you don’t remember my story about Norman, I think it would be somewhat interesting to go back and read that blog post.
In real life, we have a “Norman” in our neighborhood. The old guy is very clean and probably not quite as grumpy as Norman. His name is “Bud”. He was outside working the first weekend we were here. We had already heard that he was pretty grumpy and kept to himself but we thought . . we’ll go over and introduce ourselves. We got about 10 feet from him, and he start saying “Stay back! Stay back!” This was the height of the Covid social distancing so we stopped, talked to him a few minutes. He wanted nothing to do with us but he wasn’t terribly rude; not terribly friendly either. We talked a few minutes, asked a few questions, offered to give him our phone number if he ever needed anything. Nope . . never need anything; don’t need your phone number.
That first day I met him . . I thought . . Norman!!
He would see us out and kinda turn and walk briskly back into his house; never wave, never acknowledge us.
But, somehow, in the past few weeks, he’s decided he and Vince are going to be friends. He talks to Vince when he sees him; he’s smiled a bit. The other day Vince was doing something and needed a tool he left in Texas. He said “I’m going to go see if Bud has one and if I can borrow it.” I was thinking .. this is hilarious! Vince came back with a couple of things because Bud explained to him an easier way to do what Vince was going to do, let him borrow his tools so as soon as Vince got done, he took them back . . like a good neighbor . . always promptly return what you borrow.
Yesterday when I was going to pick up the tomato plants from a different neighbor, I took her a jar of dandelion jelly. Vince said “Let’s take one to Bud too!” I told him . . you take it; he likes you! Vince rang his doorbell and he came out, waved at me, smiled and was happy to get his jar of jelly. Vince told him I had a bunch of strawberries so I’d probably be bringing him something else. He said “Ahh, you don’t need to do that but thank you!”
I don’t know if this whole situation makes me happy because (1) we’ve broken the ice with Bud or (2) I’ve loved that Norman story for so long .. where are the chances of us having a similar person nearby? It all makes me smile and it’s another reason that I’m happy to be here . . our own real life Norman experience. Maybe we need Bud in our life; maybe Bud needs us in his life. Maybe not. At least when Vince rang the doorbell, he didn’t yell “Go away! Stay back!” 🙂