love your neighbor as yourself

You were always told to love your neighbor as yourself, but I recently learned that sometimes means loving your literal neighbor even when they’re losing it on your front porch.

If you’ve ever been yelled at or physically threatened by a stranger, then you’ll understand the stream of emotions I’m about to describe. But let’s go back.

It’s Labor Day weekend, Zach and I are visiting my brother and his wife in Denver, and we are having an incredible time. Their home is cozy with a perfect view of the mountains, their French press coffee maker is hard at work, and we spent most of our time on the porch enjoying these two things. Oh, and playing with the cutest little boy in the world, my new little nephew.

Does anything in that scenario sound disagreeable? Of course not, it was storybook.

So I’ll keep going.

My parents dropped their dog off while they vacationed to Tennessee. Bailey is an adorable pup. She’s big, droopy, and a sweetheart. The problem? She wasn’t potty trained this week, apparently. She went to the bathroom in the house 7 times during the 4 days we were there. The solution? Keep her outside.

Bailey enjoyed being outside, but she couldn’t help but run away (as fast as she could). So she was leashed to a post- it was a long leash, calm down. The result? Barking all the time.

We literally could not win. And neither could their neighbor.

I answered the knock at the door while my sister-in-law was putting the baby to sleep and my brother was showering. A disgruntled neighbor greeted me.

Our barking dog was keeping his children from enjoying their swimming pool, his wife from sleeping, and his family from enjoying their holiday. Oy vey.
How could I possibly respond to this infuriated man whose entire weekend was ruined by the dog? I told him to wait while I got my brother.

After minutes of no response from my bathing sibling, I decided to tell the man that I would send my brother over to fix it. But as soon as I opened the door I was told not to worry about it, he was calling the cops. “Sir, I’m sorry, my brother will…” My apology had struck a nerve. The man was yelling and throwing his hands in the air. I stood there listening as not to be rude (really), and at the end of his rant, realized a smirk had overcome my face. I was in disbelief at this grown man’s behavior, and my face showed it. Despite my telling him the homeowner would be over to speak to him soon, he wasn’t satisfied. He stormed away, and I shut the door feeling only disbelief.

One minute later there was another knock.

I opened the door to complete rage. He was screaming and cursing at me (the little sister from Texas) mercilessly. Once Zach heard what was going on, he came to my rescue. The door swung open and the man stepped back. He was not going to speak to me that way according to my husband.

It was as attractive as it sounds.

He made it clear that the man was wrong for treating me the way that he did, and that he was sorry about the dog. Minutes later my brother joined the conversation.

I had never been treated that way by anyone in my life, let alone a stranger. My shock turned to confusion, and my confusion became anger. Why would a grown man treat a 23-year-old girl like that?

I was upset for a solid half hour. Really, really upset. But I learned two incredibly valuable things that evening- my husband is my hero, and I can’t let one infuriated stranger ruin my vacation.

The coffee continued flowing the next morning, and the mountains didn’t move from our sight. But something that did change… I saw Zach in a very different way. If marriage is full of these moments, I’m glad that I signed up.
love your neighbor as yourself

The beautiful view from my brother’s back porch. Oh, Colorado.