Sunday, August 28, 2011

Being Neighborly

Angelica and Rocket
Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.  ~Author Unknown
I have neighbors in two places. Neighbors at my house, and neighbors at the ranch where my animals live. When I first moved into this house, my new neighbors brought us plates of baked goods to welcome us here. Each year around the holidays we all exchange baked goodies. I had never had that happen before. I mean really, in this day and age, how often does something like that occur?

When we bought the land and intended to build, our neighbors came out to meet us. They were nice, they knew things about the area we didn't know, they shared their knowledge with us. They checked on us to be sure we were us and not some stranger intruding. The first time we had to milk the goats late at night in the pitch black dark by flashlight, they drove up to be sure we weren't goat thieves. They like to visit, they like to talk, and it's nice to have someone to visit and talk with from time to time. They have kids and grandkids who like to see and pet the animals. They have big dogs to chase away predators and protect my animals. They have a tractor I can hire for goat milk or eggs or produce. They have a rideable mower they run along the edges of our shared road and ditch and no one even asks them to do it. They know how to put spark plugs in itty-bitty girlie generators. They know how to tighten chainsaw chains and trim trees. They know more about animals than I do, and they are nice enough to teach me.

I have to say, I really am grateful for the neighbors we have. I check on them too. I watch their property to be sure there are no coyotes or scary things intruding. I wave at them when they drive by. I offer to help them if they need help. Above all, I try my best to just be nice.

Life is short but there is always time for courtesy.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Social Aims
Two weeks ago, when I was at Costco, the man in line behind me thanked me for placing the plastic divider between our orders. He commented that most people won't do that anymore, that most people won't even be nice anymore. "It doesn't cost anything to be nice," he said. Well, maybe it does; maybe it doesn't depending on the circumstances. But if everyone in the world was a little bit nicer, the world itself would certainly be a nicer place to be. We chatted a little about being nice, and I agreed with him. I have been told I am too nice, but so what? I would rather be too nice than too mean.

Rocket - future barrel racing champion in a corral built and
cleared by my beloved neighbors and a lot of sweat equity.
My neighbor friend/surrogate daughter figure/4-H goat guru finally got her horse. She lives in a small house with a small yard (and both sadly for me but happily for her family) is moving to a bigger place with a corral and arena for her horse. But for now, she needed a place to keep her horse for a little while. So I was nice and said KEEP HER HERE! We worked our tails off clearing out the corral area for the horse and both neighbors helped. Everyone was working together and no one was doing it expecting anything in return. They were just being nice. And it was really neat to see and be a part of.

If you step on people in this life, you're going to come back as a cockroach.  ~Willie Davis


  1. I live in a home with a pack of neighbors with similar neighborly qualities. I've never had this ever and it's the most wonderful thing. We can count ourselves lucky - and hope our neighbors think so too!

  2. I agree. We are blessed and lucky. (o: