Neighbors, they can enhance your life, or sometimes make it difficult!
I’ve experienced what its like to live near a “not so nice” neighbor. Our previous neighborhood looked peaceful from the outside but it was shocking how one of the twenty households could make it borderline hostile with “unneighborly” behavior! Needless to say, I was glad we were able to move. Thankfully, we settled in a nice, neighborhood with really awesome neighbors!
Today, I’m thankful for my fantastic neighbors! This was inspired by my neighbor, Steve, who spent most of his day helping the whole neighborhood, more about that later.
When we moved in two years ago, our neighbors behind us shared amazing stories about the history of our town. Our home and surrounding area used to be a farm. We’ve even found rusted, old parts of farm tools on our property!
Their family has lived here since the 1930’s. They still own two, almost acre size lots behind us. One lot has a home their grandfather built in 1935, and another their family built in the 70’s.
The patriarch of their family, Dick, was 90 years young when we moved in. We’d often see him out working in his garden. He served in the Navy, was an electrical engineer, and hosted his own amateur radio station for 76 years. That explained the giant antenna attached to their house!
Sadly, he passed away in spring of last year. He was full of information about engineering, and gardening. He bought us this book shortly after we moved in, and included his handwritten tips throughout! I’ve referred to the book often since I started my garden.
Dick’s sister, Jackie, lives in the home built in 1935. The fist time I met her, she reminded me of my grandma! She has beautiful red hair, and her voice sounded so similar to my grandma’s, I almost felt like I was talking with her. She’s also an avid gardener.
Dick’s daughter, Margaret and her husband, Jim, moved back to the area about three years ago. They retired from missionary work in Asia. Every year, they host a neighborhood Christmas party, that includes everyone singing Christmas carols together 🙂
The neighbor’s across the street from us, Tom and Courtney have two sweet kids who’ve hosted several lemonade stands since we’ve moved in! Their daughter gave me a tour of their chicken coop, and showed me all their chickens. They’ve been gracious enough to share eggs with us from time to time. I love hearing their kids laughter when they play outside, and their chickens cluck as they lay their eggs.
Okay, now back to Steve, who inspired this post!
Our street is a privately owned parcel that’s not being maintained by the owner. I’ve reached out to the them, but unfortunately they haven’t responded. There are large drain pipes on our side that we constantly clear of debris that flows down the hill. The pavement at the corner is completely washed away, and when it rains it creates a huge pool of water. Last winter, the drain pipe near the corner got completely stopped up, creating quite a mess when it rained.
A couple of months ago, Steve shared that last year he shredded his tire when he hit the huge hole during a storm. He is annoyed by the condition of the road, so he offered to clear the drain pipe, and put down new asphalt to fill the hole. I was super excited he was willing to do that, since we’d been unsuccessful at clearing out the pipe, and are also annoyed by the giant hole.
Yesterday, around 10:30 am Steve started working on clearing the drain pipe. He used a pressure washer, lots of brut force, and got it mostly clear in about four hours. After clearing out sand and debris, he noticed that something was stuck in the middle of the pipe. Initially, he thought it was shoe because he could see a label on it.
After it wasn’t moving much, he realized a bike helmet was stuck in there!
How the heck did that get in there?!?
During the next two hours, he used various methods to try to get the helmet out. Eventually, made a very long “tool” with two, 2×4’s, and endeavored to push the helmet out of the bottom. Unfortunately, after he pushed the helmet down to the bottom, the opening was too small for him to push it out that end.
He was going to attempt to push it back up to the top but his “tool” got stuck in the pipe……arrrgh!
He was frustrated after working almost six hours that he still couldn’t completely clear the pipe! He was tired, dirty, and had scratched his arm trying to wrestle the wood out of the pipe. He said he wasn’t going to let that helmet “win,” and that if he needed to cut through the asphalt to remove the helmet from the pipe he would.
WOW, he is determined!
Thankfully, even with the 2×4’s stuck in there water was flowing through the pipe. I suggested we could try to somehow hook the 2×4’s up to my trailer hitch, and pull them out of the pipe. It was almost dark, so he was done for the day, and said in the next day or so we might give that a try.
I was thankful for how much time and effort Steve put into that “project” yesterday.
He reminded me of Mark 12:31, “The second Law is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other Law is greater than these.”
I appreciate Steve’s hard work yesterday, and the “love” he showed by helping maintain our street, even if it’s not his responsibility.
I also love how my other neighbors have shown us love since we moved in. They are all great neighbors, and for that I’m thankful!
What are you thankful for today? Share it with me!