My wife and I moved to Hawthorne when we got married in 2016, and we are thankful to have a beautiful home, wonderful neighbors, and plenty of friends we’ve met in town. My wife’s name is Janet, and we live on Dixie Avenue with Joshua, our two-year-old son, and Benjamin, my twenty-eight-year-old son. 

We rent the first floor of a home, and we often look at houses for sale while we are out walking with the baby. The average home price in Hawthorne is around $400,000, and we can’t afford that right now. 

If you met us, you might think that we are well off, since my wife works as a nurse practitioner and I own a small business. But like a lot of folks in New Jersey, we are juggling and struggling and trying to make ends meet. Meanwhile, my older son Ben works at SuperFresh, a local supermarket, and he’s saving up for a place of his own.

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I realize that things have been rough for a lot of people in New Jersey this year. My wife works in the Intensive Care Unit treating patients with COVID-19, and she recently logged 84 hours in 8 days (plus overtime, but who’s counting).

Nevertheless, we have a lot to be thankful for, starting with our neighbors.

We found our current home with the help of a realtor in Hawthorne. She waived the fee because my wife was seven months pregnant and we had to move on short notice. 

On the day we moved in, a person helping us scratched my neighbor’s car. I offered to pay for the damage but he just brushed it off.

When summer came, a neighbor across the street cuts the grass for the woman next door.  He also cuts the grass for someone up the street.

That winter, a neighbor with a snowblower cleared the walk in front of our house.

Last Christmas a neighbor gave my son Joshua a remote-control car. Why? Because my wife said “hi” when she walked the baby. 

Last month, my wife and I were in quarantine. Two of my neighbors brought us food.

I could go on and on about our neighbors, and I haven’t even mentioned the people we’ve met at Goffle Brook Park, the Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce, or the Louis Bay 2nd Library.

I realize that Coronavirus has isolated many of us.  But a virus does not prevent neighbors from helping one another.