Chance Made Us Neighbors, Hearts Made Us Friends

In this week’s Let’s Go and Let’s Eat blogs, we take you to Iowa. I don’t have any stories about Iowa other than it’s a neighboring state to Minnesota, which is where I reside. Naturally, it made me think about all of those neighbors who have become my girlfriends. 

 First off, I need to ask: Does a neighbor have to be someone who lives right next to you, or can a neighbor be someone who lives “close by” in the same town? Since I don’t really know for sure, I’ll give a couple of examples of women who lived close to me and I will also throw in a couple others who lived close by enough for me to consider them to be my “neighbors”. 

My Close Neighbor Friend Karen

Let’s start with my close by, can-I-borrow-a-cup-of-sugar neighbor friend Karen. 

Pete, the kids and I lived in the quaint town of Western Springs, Illinois, a doppelganger of the Andy Griffith Show’s, Mayberry, USA. Karen was a native Minnesotan who lived up to the term “Minnesota Nice”. Her father was a colleague of my father-in-law, so from the onset, we felt a connection. 

There was just one house between Karen’s and mine. We had similar old farm style houses, complete with a wrap around front porch and porch swing. We raised our children on those porch swings—swaying back and forth, reading and singing to them while the world passed us by on warm summer nights. 

Karen was an actress and was in a few shows at our local theater. Wow! Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Her personality completely changed when she was on stage. She was a great actress. It was one of her greatest loves in life. 

I miss Karen. She has three daughters and her eldest just had a baby. Again, wow! I wish I could have stayed around long enough to watch those girls grow into the young beautiful women that they have become, but we lost touch once I moved away. 

 My Close-By Neighbor Friend Kim

Thanks to Facebook, I am still in contact with many of those women who were my neighbors and friends in that sleepy bedroom town 20 miles west of Chicago:










and the list goes on….

Two women who were “neighbors” in Western Springs, but lived more than one house away are Kim and Kelly.

Kim became my right-hand gal in my apron company that I started back in 2004. I sent out an email to about 100 women who were moms at Lex and Kole’s schools. I needed an assistant to help me start my new business, and that email seemed like it was the safest most efficient way to find someone. I didn’t know exactly what this person was going to do, I just knew I needed help. Kim responded pretty quickly with a, “Sure, I’d like to give it a shot, when can we discuss?” From that moment on, she has been one of my dearest friends. 

When we moved from Western Springs, I stopped selling aprons and Kim transitioned to selling cabi®. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with cabi, it’s an acronym for Carol Anderson By Invitation. It’s a beautifully designed clothing company that sells its line through a stylist who comes into your home and presents the line at an invitation-only party.)

Kim is one of their most successful stylists. These days, she drives up to my home in Minnesota from Chicago twice a year—spring and fall—to do these cabi parties. Talk about a really fun girls’ night out! It’s a night that also gives Kim and me a chance to have a sleepover as if we were teenagers again. Although now as adults, I always have a flower arrangement and card waiting at her bedside. And she never walks through my front door empty handed. She always has the most girly gift for me. I love it!  

Neither of us live in Western Springs any longer, but memories are still being made as they were when we first met in that cute town. I’m so thankful that she and I have kept in touch.  

My Close-By Neighbor Friend Kelly

The other neighbor friend from Western Springs (though she now lives in Georgia), is Kelly. 

Kelly and I lived about four blocks from each other. She and I shared a love of cooking. She is also one of those friends who says what’s on her mind and doesn’t have much of a filter. I used to love that about her until the day I didn’t. She said something to me one day that stopped me in my tracks and because of her words, I took a step back from our friendship. 


I’m all about constructive criticism, but when being critical is hurtful, that’s when I say, “no thank you.” 
Kelly and I “broke up” and that lasted for about a dozen years. Sad isn’t it? Perhaps a conversation to clear up my thoughts about her criticism would have solved the issue, but I didn’t speak up. When I did speak up, it wasn’t genuine enough to find the glue to stick us back together.  
But, hey, I am always looking for a silver lining and here it is: Last December, Pete and I visited her and her husband and stayed a couple of nights at their home. We are now back together and man, I am happy about that. Spending time with her in December was as if no time was lost at all. She still looks the same. She still acts the same. And she still speaks her mind the same and I love it now just as I once did long ago. We may be far apart physically, but we are right next to each other emotionally and in spirit—just like the old days. 

My Conclusion

I love my friends and I have cherished my neighbors. I am happy that they are synonymous with each other. I have moved a few times before and after Western Springs, but that time of my life was the most indelible. Good times and good people. They will remain etched in my memory forever. 


I love that you were with me today. See you next week!


Loopie Signature

Lisa A.K.A Loopie 







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