Tuesday, July 29, 2014


There are 112 condo units in my complex, 8 units per building.  It is a beautiful neighborhood with mature trees just a block or two from the Willamette River as well as the lake in the other direction.  We have curving concrete pathways connecting us which are perfect for a little meandering.

We have a hired Property Management Company but the rest is up to volunteers.  The Board is five volunteers.  Several committees ... landscaping, communication, architectural, clubhouse, guest suite, pool and building captains.  

Like a little old fashioned neighborhood ... or the new and improved verbiage "village" ... we help each other out.  Our building captains are the first front for residents to ask questions.  This year the captains ask each resident to complete a form with some basic "in case of emergency" information.  This year they added another question ... who locally has a key to this unit besides you.

One condo is a vacation rental.  This winter the unit upstairs had a dishwasher leak into the downstairs rental unit.  The owner lives in southern California and no one here knew how to get into the unit in a timely fashion.  Of course it happened on a weekend which made it more difficult to contact the rental owner.  Most of us hide a key (and we all know where to find each other's) and some of us give a neighbor a key (which is what I do).

Early this summer, a son in Seattle received a phone call from his mother's employer.  She had not shown up for work on Friday (without calling, which was out of character for her and it was a relatively new job) so on Monday when she again did not come in, the employer called.  He spent the weekend calling and texting to no avail.  Finally he contact his mother-in-law who lives in nearby Vancouver, Washington to come knocking.

The police were called and the fire department broke in a window.  The owner was found dead in her bed.  Heart attack at age 59.  Shockingly horrible for all of us.  And sad and scary that she wasn't neighborly enough for us to notice she hadn't been seen for a while.

For all of us who live alone, it was a very unpleasant reminder that we should touch base every day with someone.  

Do you?


  1. I worry that if I didn't show up, no one would notice. But plenty of people in my family know where the key is and/or the code to get in the key pad at the front door.

    Your 'village' sounds ideal for senior living!

    1. Our cities are about the same size ... I bet you can find a "village" of your own ... if you don't want to start one near your current home. There is really something to be said for neighborhoods!