Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Special needs

We live out in the country.
I call it "the farm." 
We don't get too many visitors- out here on the farm.
No one ever knocks on our door and if they do, the house is clean because I knew they were comin' to call.
This evening, while we were eating dinner, we heard someone knock on our front door.  Chelsea went crazy and Doug went to the door. 
I heard a voice say:
"Now, Doug, I know you are probably right in the middle of your dinner." 
(Well, yes, we were.) 
"And I want you to come out here and talk to me." 
(I heard the door open and close and this is when the voices became muffled.)
I think I recognize the voice of our neighbor, the man who is mentally-challenged and lives in a trailer across the road at the back of our property.

Doug came back to the table and asked if I had heard any of the conversation. 
I told him "not really."
He confirmed that it was our neighbor. 
I said "does his care giver know he is over here?"
(He has a twenty-four hour care-giver and isn't supposed to cross the road without his permission.)
On occasion, he will come over to chat with Doug if Doug is out in the yard- or he will come over to see Chelsea. 
This man is probably thirty to forty years old and works at the shelter. 
But my feeling is that if you didn't know he was mentally challenged, there are a lot of people who wouldn't know he is mentally challenged. 
I'm not certain how old he is mentally, but I know he got a kick out of a remote control car that he got for his last birthday.
(But a lot of men enjoy remote control cars.)

Doug went on to explain that the neighbor found something at Walmart that he wanted to buy and he wondered if Doug might pay him to do yard work.
I said "you could have him help you clean the shed."
(This is where I get a look from Doug.)

But you have to admire our neighbors initiative. 
He has a lot more initiative than a lot of so called "normal" people. 
He saw something he wants to buy and he doesn't have the money, so he is trying to find a way to earn the money.
(We don't think he makes much at the shelter.)
Doug is a good friend to him. 
I don't know if he is going to find some work for our neighbor to do or not, but you have to admire our neighbor's gumption!


Angela said...

I wish he lived next to my mom! I would pay him to cut her grass all summer long!

farmlady said...

This is a very interesting post about perception and I will have to admit that at the beginning I thought something awful was going to happen. It didn't.. but my perception was that anyone coming to your door without an invite was trouble.
I live in an isolated place too and if someone comes up our road and to our door without warning there is a good possibility that they would be greeted with a gun in hand.
I'm so glad that he was a neighbor and that you knew him... and that he was OK.
He was being guided by his "special need" for something that he really wanted and he must have thought a lot of you both to ask you for work. That sounds more industrious that a lot of folks in this country.

KleinsteMotte said...

Well I totally get where this fellow is coming from and how nice that someone recognized him and took time to listen. It would be nice if he were able to do some chores. I say this because my own son (37) is challenged and loves to do chores. He just saved up and bought an ipad at Wallmart. It needed me to set it up but right now he's enjoying the itunes app and is listening to his favorite M.J. songs. He feel so proud to have something so popular. He is verypatient about learning how it works and does learn but slowly.

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