Can I borrow a cup of sugar?

terriksSeptember 17, 2012

Did you ever do this? I remember as a child, my mother would occasionally find that she was out of sugar or eggs or whatever as she was baking something, and she would send me to the neighbors to borrow what she was missing. In fact, I remember doing the same about 20+ years ago, sending my son with a measuring cup down to the neighbor's house for the missing ingredient. Sadly, now I don't really know my neighbors well enough to ask.

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Great memory there. Yes I was brought up in a 3 family house in Boston and, once in a while, my Mom would send me upstairs to borrow and egg or sugar etc. Our neighborhood was very neighbor friendly. All the parents watched out for everyone's kids. Now, when I go back to that area, the curbs all seem closer and sidewalks narrower and a bleakness to the area that leaves one feel that trust and friendship have been replaced with caution and fear. Sad.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:32PM
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Never actually went to a neighbors house as a kid to do that, but we did have neighbors who stopped by on occasion. My grandparents lived across the street, so if we needed it, we'd go there.

But I did once literally go borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor when I was an adult. I didn't really know them, only to wave from the driveway. I returned the cup along with a slice of the cake I'd made with it!

I don't think we've had the borrowing in our neighborhood, but we do know nearly all our neighbors, so I guess if we needed to, we could. I like knowing that I know who we live with.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:44PM
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My neighborhood used to be like that....sadly now there is only one family to borrow 2 eggs from. My next door neighbor for many years (God rest her soul) once came over with a teaspoon measuring spoon wanting to borrow a teaspoon of cinnamon. As she filled her spoon from my jar, I asked..."
now when can I expect you to return that?".....she said "i'll return it tomorrow and I'll just bring it over and go "poof" and she pantomimed blowing in the spoon!"...LOL!
That same neighbor's husband once came to out door when they were having a cocktail party to borrow a bottle of vodka! They underestimated how popular vodka would be on a hot summer day!
Borrowing neighbors are always good!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:00AM
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i have had neighbors borrow baking/cooking supplies from me- don't think i have ever needed cooking supplies...i'm usually well stocked! but i have borrowed a snowblower and a carpet cleaner on a couple of occasions!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:02AM
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I do -but only with two special neighbors. My children will no doubt have memories of 'run to Gina's and see if she has any sour cream..."

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:33AM
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I do, even though I have to get in my car to get the item! lol. My one and only neighbor lives just less than a half mile away. Living so far from a store sure makes it nice.

Kind of on topic. I made a decision just last week to never ever loan out a DVD or books. EVER. How can people forget they borrowed it and suddenly don't have it unless I rummage through their things? These are adults!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:40AM
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We borrow and get "borrowed" from our neighbors. Its funny, we live on 3 acres as do most(some more) neighbors in our neighborhood and on the outside of town and we are closer to our neighbors out here than we were with our neighbors in town, where our houses were really close. I hardly knew anyone in that neighborhood!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:42AM
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I very much remember borrowing from neighbors as a kid-- and I had one neighbor who did the same in my adult life. Funny thing was, it wasnt just milk and sugar "do you have a... brownie mix? a dozen eggs? diet soda? vodka? a black sweater? sequin flip flops"

It really got ridiculous.. and was very much one way. I asked for suggestions for token christmas gifts for her 3 daughters and she suggested ugg boots, juicy couture clothing, etc. Seriously??!! Give a neighbor an inch and she takes a mile.. if you let her. We are polite but no longer friends.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Yes -- to the neighbours on each side of us ... we have met most of the folks along our block ...

And Halloween is coming up soon -- so that means that the block will be decorating and celebrating!:)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:11AM
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I never have borrowed from a neighbor nor have I had one borrow from me. I do have one neighbor that I would be comfortable asking, though, if I really needed something.

OakleyOK, I never lend books or DVDs unless I don't really care if they are returned. I lent some vintage Robert B. Parker hardbacks to a friend who when asked if she was finished with them, said..."Oh, you wanted those back?" I should have understood that she was not someone who treasured books. Before E-books became so popular, I used to have a group of people with whom I traded newly published thrillers. Everyone was so conscientious about trading quickly that the process was a real pleasure.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:41AM
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I absolutely remember going to neighbors to borrow a cup of sugar on occasion. I also have a clear memory of playing in the backyard as a child, while my mother hung clothes on the line and chatted over the chain link fence with the woman who lived behind us.

Times really have changed, though. We know the neighbors on either side of us, and have a passing acquaintance with another couple of neighbors down the block - but I have no idea who lives across from us. If they were to walk in front of me right now, I wouldn't recognize them. Sometimes I wish we knew our neighbors better, but DH and I are at heart very insular at home. We do have a very active neighborhood - lots of folks out walking dogs, exercising, strolling - so there is ample opportunity to get to know folks ... I guess we just don't take the time to do so.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:49AM
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We do have a "borrowers" relationship with two of our neighbors, and I love it that we feel comfortable borrowing flour or whatever. it used to be three but one, my favorite neighbors, moved.
One snowed in day, there was a knock at the door, I looked down, way down and there was a little bundled human- with red hair poking from under his hat saying through his muffer " Miss Thue,can we borrow a egg?" It was little Mason, well coached. I could see his Mom standing in her door across the street smiling. I asked what they were making and he shrugged and said " sumpin in the oben" Mason put out his hand ( he didnt want the bowl) and carefully watched that egg all the way back across the street. He was 3 at the time, and btwthe street was impassable for car traffic at the time.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Just borrowed baking soda from my next door neighbor a few days ago! So yes, I do it, but not frequently just because I tend to be fairly well stocked most of the time. Also, we have a convenience store less than a mile away. We are very lucky -- we are quite friendly with our immediate neighbors. Not all of them, but we do socialize with the 3-4 couples who live right around us. The "ladies" go out a few times a year, and the couples will go out a couple times a year, maybe. And there are a few impromptu gatherings here and there. The nice thing is that everyone also has their own lives so it's not "smothering" -- I have a friend whose neighbors are all over her, constantly wanting to plan BBQ's and brunches.

Our kids all have the neighbors' numbers, too, which is great in case of emergency.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:44AM
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I don't remember my mother ever sending me to a neighbor but I'm sure she went on her own to borrow from time to time. I have 2 neighbors like that - I'll get an urgent call for vanilla, or I'll call for something I need - not often but good to know we can.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:14PM
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Still do it occasionally, as do some of my neighbors. I am so thankful to live where I know my neighbors well. We have several get - togethers every year. Our next one is our big Halloween block party. Our little area is 2 streets with 2 cul de sacs. Now if we only had a milkman like my mom did!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:20PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Ha, Texanjana! We are back to having a milkman. I get milk in glass bottles that we rinse and return. We get eggs from free range chickens, homemade butter and yogurt, pork, chicken, and beef and lots of other stuff! It is wonderful. The truck is painted like a Holstein cow. And this is right outside DC-the dairy is in rural Maryland. Can't wait for the egg nog when holidays arrive and we are almost into fresh cider season which is always fun because the cider can change slightly from week to week depending on which type of apple was used for the batch! Very different from supermarket cider!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 6:57PM
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I thank the heavens every day that we wound up on a great block. I have at least 7 neighbours that I can "borrow sugar" from and do so on a regular basis, as do they. We all get together at least 3 or 4 times a year for planned dinners and often just end up outside hanging out together with a glass of wine in the evening. I feel safe letting my kids go door to door when they have fundraising to do or just to say hi to the neighbours. We were cat-sitting for one of the neighbours and realized they had left us the wrong key to their house. We asked around and it turned out 2 other neighbours had "emergency keys" to the house and one other knew where they hid the spare! I have to remember to thank them all for being such good neighbours. Might be time for another party.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Cooperbailey, I love your writing. I could see that beautiful child at your front door. I felt the warmth in your heart.

Yes, I grew up 40 minutes away from the nearest store. There was plenty of borrowing back and forth. Not so much anymore.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 12:23AM
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We don't know our neighbors hardly at all but I have really fond memories of our neighborhood as a kid. Most families on the block borrowed from each other regularly, watched each others kids and took turns hosting the block parities. We were really like one great big extended family.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 3:33AM
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