Wilson – Volleyball Friend or Sagely Neighbor?


This morning, I was in the driveway getting out of the 4Runner. I just come back from Granny Bee’s and Andy’s Garage (scheduling an oil change according to the schedule Matt Jones tells me – and I always listen to Matt J). And out of the stillness of the Evergreen quiet community, I hear this clear call of “Good Morning!” It was Evelyn, my neighbor across the street. I had visited Buster and Evelyn before, even spent some time trying to get their beagle “Jack” to go home after he escaped their electronic hidden fence.

I responded, “Mornin’ Neighbor” … and then headed in to the church office.

Why does this impact me enough to write about it? Well, just before moving here, I lived in the Dallas suburbs. In the three previous years, there were a few head nods as we passed in the apartment hallways, an occasional muted and rushed hello when I left my apartment the same time the person across the hall left their abode, and maybe a honk or two by a person in the garage (okay, that may be more of a ‘get out of the way’ communication). But here – people wave, drivers of passing cars raise their hand to acknowledge a greeting – not to give a hand gesture because you’re driving weird or won’t yield – and neighbors intentionally yell out a greeting. Kind of cool to know people spend time getting to know their neighbors.

The thought that came to my mind was Wilson – and then my brain thought of two Wilsons. The first was Tom Hanks companion on the island – the one he lost at sea during his escape from the island. Wilson – the name of the volleyball – the name of Tom Hank’s friend.

The second – Wilson W. Wilson – the kindly neighbor in which you never saw his face (until the final episode), on Tim Allen’s Home Improvement. Wilson W. Wilson was that great neighbor that seemed to impart wisdom and friendship to his clumsy neighbor. He had a normal greeting that has become part of television lore.

Hi-dee-ho, neighbor!

So I ponder as I type this – what kind of neighbor would we really prefer? The quiet, never speaks, not really a relationship type of a friend a volleyball can offer? One that listens to us, but never interrupts and never gives unwanted advice?

Or the kind, listening ear, sharing wisdom because he cares type of neighbor? Watches out for us, and more.

Yeah, yeah, Tom Hanks needed someone – he was all alone as a castaway. I get that. But I would prefer the humorous, wise, and ever patient neighbor.

So today, I share some wisdom from Wilson …

“Getting old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you never committed.”
“You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons; but if you treat them as sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.”
“Well, Tim, I’m reminded of what the Chinese philosopher Chuang Tse said. You cannot speak of the ocean to a well frog, you cannot speak of ice to a summer insect.”
“A great lover is not one who romances a different woman every night; a great lover is one who romances the same woman for a lifetime.”

Who is your Wilson?






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