Kindness of Neighbors

Neighbor Dave, at the head of the street, battles mud that washes down the mountain and clogs the pipes under his driveway. John was concerned about the pipe under ours. Recently Dave came down to look, offering his advice and the loan of his long tool. Grandson David wielded it deftly to bring out leaves and debris.

060817 David cleans driveway pipe.JPG

At the other end, John shoveled mud. We have been here almost three years, and this was the first time he worked on the pipe. It’s wonderful to have neighbors who share their expertise.

060817 John digs out pipe.JPG

A different kind of sharing came from neighbor Bob across the street. He phoned and asked, “Do you like barbecue?”

In the light of his subsequent statement, I would paraphrase that as, “If I bring you some really special BBQ, could you possibly appreciate it as much as I do?”

Bob had no way of knowing that we are FANATICS when it comes to Southern barbecued pork. As he handed it to me, he explained that it had come from a fund-raiser for an upcoming mission trip. His friend had cooked the meat, and the sauce was from a special person, too.

He said, “We had meat left over, and I’ve been eating it. On top of that, my daughter-in-law gave me a plate of food from her food truck [a brand new venture]. I wish I could eat it all, but it is not good for me to have so much.”

I wanted to make Bob realize he had brought his precious gift to the right home. I said, “We LOVE barbecue. Once when we were house-hunting down here, we ate BBQ five or six days in a row.”

In order to commemorate Bob’s generosity, I snapped David’s photo as we were about to eat the meat. I didn’t realize the sauce seemed to have top billing here. The meat was superb, and we left the table with contented smiles on our faces.

060817 D with BBQ sauce.JPG

Aren’t our neighbors wonderful? It took a while for me to realize that Bob’s sharing was actually sacrificial giving.

34 thoughts on “Kindness of Neighbors

  1. It’s nice to be part of such a kind community Anne.Now if we can just get the message to the rest of the world…..without the Barbecued park and the sauce of course.
    xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

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    1. I hope we don’t detract from the neighborhood. Not having BBQ for 50 years left its mark on me. I eat it whenever I get a chance. Actually, I did have it regularly — once a year when I visited my parents. It’s mind-boggling to have several excellent BBQ places only a few miles away.

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    1. It took us much longer than I expected to get to know our neighbors. Perhaps my expectations were a bit too high. It was worth the wait, though. Maybe you’ll see yours as the weather warms up, and people are comfortable outdoors.

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  2. Pete claims to not even trust BBQ until he’s in the south. I love BBQ too, and am inclined to agree that the sauce is better in your neck of the woods. I also appreciate keeping the sugar out of the cornbread. (Up north, they gunk up the cornbread with sugar … ugh!) But I’ve got to have iced tea without sugar, so I’ll keep that northern custom. 🙂

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    1. Aren’t regional customs amusing? I didn’t realize until I lived in New York that Southerners wanted their tea sweet. My mom always gave it to us plain, and I thought that’s the way it was in the South. She pinched pennies harder than I do, so it was probably to save money.

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      1. The further south you go, the sweeter it gets. We once got some in Louisiana you could have poured on pancakes! Yuck! I drink mine sweetened with stevia and flavored with chai spices.
        Your neighbors are such a treat, BBQ is very expensive, so that was a wonderful sharing!!

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    1. We have spare ribs here, too, Susan. It’s silly, but John and I avoid them because they are so messy. In Southern states, there is amost a cult about barbecue, that being defined as pork that is slow-roasted in a pit. The meat is pulled apart and served on a sandwich bun with a pungent sauce. The sauce varies with the region. You could have a sauce based on mustard, vinegar, or tomato. Cole slaw is necessary on my sandwich, because I grew up in Tennessee. In North Carolina, slaw is optional.

      The silly part is that we put leaky, sticky sauce on our sandwiches, and they end up as messy as picking up ribs. One other observation: any Southerner knows barbecue refers to a sandwich. In the north, barbecue is a cooking process, one in which you grill meat outside.


  3. Every region of the US is so different. We live in a pleasant, yet reserved, sort of neighborhood. No one would ever share their food with anyone else. Nor would they help you with outside projects. But everyone here is courteous and keeps their property’s up, so I can’t complain. I’ve lived in much less friendly places, so I’ll appreciate what I have. Even if there’s no BBQ involved.

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    1. I guess we were in a reserved place when we lived in Queens. We never saw or spoke to our neighbors in the apartment house. We were newlyweds, and we were fine with that. John lived with his family a few blocks away for 11 years. The neighbors all knew each other’s names, and John’s sister still visits the lady who lived across the street. When the buyer of their home heard that we were visiting across the street a few years ago, she came over and invited us into her house to see what she had done with it over the past 50 years. Most folks would not expect that in Queens. I’m glad you are satisfied with where you live. It must be miserable to live in an unfriendly place.

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  4. What beautiful neighbours!! And great food!! I’m always searching, searching, up here in Montreal for the latest ‘n’ best southern BBQ place. Oh, yes, we have a (very) few, but it takes special sleuthing to find a good one!

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  5. Anne, I just LOVE that you have such LOVING neighbors! This is indeed how a neighborhood should be. This is the type of neighborhood I grew up in, and unfortunately, I believe it is in decline. My family tries hard to network with our neighbors by bringing cookies to meet everyone when we first moved in, and bringing cookies around at Christmas time, etc. (can you tell how much I like cookies? ha ha!). This story warms my heart. Thanks for sharing, Anne! Have a wonderful weekend! —-Christina


    1. I’m so glad you grew up with loving neighbors, Christina. I did, too. Having wonderful neighbors was not a guarantee when we moved to the mountains, but we’ve been blessed with marvelous people.

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