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What are your neighbors like?

I want to share my day with y’all. Today was a day worthy of reflection. 

    I started my day with a quiet cup of coffe on a small deck. I live just outside of a town of less than 200 residents. We have a post office but no traffic lights. This mornings coffee was entertained by some earthmoving equipment. So your first thought may be, laughter due to this city type noise.

My neighbor is installing a new driveway. Allow me to elaborate. He already has a driveway. It’s 1/4 mile long from the road to his house. Now here is where you find out about the community we have. The new driveway is being cut using equipment owned by my neighbor. His “labor” is his brother and father. Both brother and father live on either side of the gentleman. That’s correct, brother, brother then the fathers house. All three in a row. All three helping work on the new driveway. They didn’t call a contractor. They called on family. That’s setting the example for all of us.

    After admiring the family strength of my neighbors I sat down to a breakfast of eggs and toast. My wife cooked me breakfast as I decided how to start my day. The kids had a couple friends spend the night so dad would not be need until later in the day.  I started thinking about things like maybe a day of fishing or riding my ATV. I started watching the weather and saw some rain in the forecast. My thoughts drifted to a friend and farm down the road. I helped them with some hay a few days ago. We didn’t get the job done due to some mechanical issues. Getting the hay out of the field before it rains is important to a farmer. I bet they would have some use for a middle aged bored guy. It turns out the hay was made but still needed taken off the hillside.

     In this area we use contour farming to utilize our steep terrain. Here in the foothills of Appalachia farming can be dangerous.  Un even ground mixed with inexperience and ground hog holes can school a rookie like myself. The steep hillsides make for lengthy traverses to get crops off the hillsides. It’s time consuming transporting Hay and silage from between rows of corn or soybeans. Having some unskilled labor around (like myself) means the farmers can get back to money making tasks. 

    Don’t rat me out to my farming neighbors but I’m using them. I enjoy an afternoon on the tractor. I don’t mind working on equipment, the grease or the dust. I spend most of my “real work” days shuffling papers and taking care of HR issues. I love my day job but a break is nice. I get about 60 emails a day and so many phone calls it’s laughable. A day on the tractor is a day of solitude for me. My limited phone service at the farm is a blessing. It’s also fun learning a new skill. I’m not much of a farmer but the skills learned are easily transferable to other tasks. I’m not helping the farm much. I could be replaced by a 12 year old honestly. I feel blessed they let me come. 

    After a few hours on the farm I completed getting the round bales off the field. I got home in time to load the kids up in our ATV and wagon. We went to the gas station for ice cream. We played at the, park. We ran into some friends. Back at home the wife was preparing dinner. We ate dinner as a family like always. After supper the farmer dropped off an elderberry pie for us. I’d argue the pie is an overpayment at my skill level. I’m pretty sure it’s rude to pass on a pie so I gladly accepted. 😀

    I share my day with you to point out people still help each other. Pockets of good people that think outside of their own needs still exist. Ask yourself, what do my kids see me do that helps our neighbors. Be honest and set the example. What do you want your kids to see? How do we expect our kids to contribute to our community if we aren’t contributing? Get off your couch and get involved. Take your kids with you. 

  
   

    For a great lesson in history attended an Appleseed. 

Appleseedinfo.org.

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