Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Neighborly Neighborhood

Well the rains have subsided, for now. Forecasters are telling us more rain is on the way tomorrow...but for now sunny days are here again. People in the county just east of us are still struggling with flooding today as many more levees broke on the Wabash River yesterday. My prayers are with them.

I intended to blog about this subject several days ago but the flooding was occupying more of my thoughts. The subject of neighbors. It's one of my favorite things about living in the country. Out here you don't have neighbors in your view every time you step outside. In fact to see my nearest neighbor you have to scan the horizon over a 60 acre field, and peer through a patch of trees to even see the house. On the other hand my neighbors are always quick to lend a hand when needed. If your tractor is stuck in the mud, your truck won't start or well has run dry, your neighbors are the people you can count on to help you. We also enjoy sharing the bounty this time of year. One of my neighbors heard me mention recently that I love rhubarb but have never gotten around to planting any of my own. He told me to come over and get as much as I wanted from his rhubarb patch. I took him up on his offer and came home with what equaled to be 2 gallons once it was chopped. I returned the favor by making a rhubarb pie for him and his wife. He then shared with me several bunches of sage, oregano and mint from his garden that I have hanging in my garage to dry. This favor was returned with a batch of my fresh strawberry jam. I enjoy this give and take so much. It's that human connection that it sometimes lacking in today's society. He and I don't know each other all that well, but as we swap more and more items from each other's garden and kitchen we have formed a neighborly bond that has grown into a family affair. His wife is going to teach me how to quilt, and my children have fallen in love with their dog. I am hoping to learn to make home made wine from him, and he has promised another batch of rhubarb will be ready by weeks end. I haven't yet thought of what to bring him in exchange. I hate showing up empty handed. Perhaps a loaf of home made bread ~ to go with the jam from the last visit.

Another neighbor has offered to give me some butterfly bushes. She has told me to come dig them up anytime I wanted. I might do that this week. I will have to send some jam to her as well. She has sent home made pasta sauce and fresh vegetables and fruit in summer's past. They are good to us.

I buy my eggs from another neighbor, for $1 a dozen, and they have even been kind enough to hand deliver! There have been times when they know I am stuck at home with several kids....rather than trouble me to load everyone up, they probably spend every bit of my 'egg money' on gasoline just to deliver them. But I watch their daughter often and they are grateful for my service to them, just as I am grateful for their neighborly gestures.

I have wonderful neighbors.