Friday, October 28, 2016

A Beautiful Day for a Neighbor

Given my middle child's recent obsession with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, I am lucky my head hasn't yet exploded from having the theme song on a continual stuck loop in my head. Seriously...stuck there ALL. DAY. LONG.

But today, it felt a little bit like reality.

Some of you might remember that when we moved in here we saw a long list of yard projects looming before us. About a month ago, I decided to tackle the never-ending hedge that was attempting to take over the road on the side of our house. Rather than pay $1000 to have the hedge removed or severely trimmed, I decided to make it into a row of trees.

I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty pleased with my thrifty plan that turned out to actually look rather stately.

Used to be an overgrown hedge, now a tree lined street!
But the saving of the money in cutting them down also meant that I was left with a backyard full of tree limbs. TONS of tree limbs. And our county doesn't have any kind of limb or leaf pickup. (Really, Chesterfield?)

Last week I called a tree company to get an estimate on hauling all the limbs away. $350 to load up a truck, my friends.

Seeing all my hard work on saving money quickly slipping away, I tried to reason that this was at least still significantly less money than having that company trim or pull them out.


I happened to mention this to a new neighbor who is fast becoming a good friend (and whose son is my son's playmate just about every day now and has thus made my day.)

Her reply?

"STOP. Don't do it."

And within minutes she had arranged for us to borrow a different neighbor's truck. His words to her when she explained what I was going to do to take care of the limbs: "We don't pay for stuff like that on this corner."


We said "yes" to that generously offered truck.

And then this morning, my neighbor shows up with my favorite starbucks drink and her work gloves and we go to town on that backyard. Together. Within hours, we've hauled a whole load to the dump and reloaded the truck and trailer. Most of the work was done while my littlest slept and my two older ones were at school.
Loaded up and ready for a second run to the dump
And the bonus to a now-cleaned-up backyard? Getting to enjoy my awesome neighbor's company while doing a job that feels very rewarding.

Were we the only two women at the dump mucking out a trailer? Yep.
Was my minivan the only one there? Of course.
Was my toddler the only baby watching a load of people empty backyard waste into a huge pile and loving every minute of said entertainment? Darn straight he was.

You see, friends, neighbors are pretty awesome. This is the fourth home we've owned. Every time we move, we pray hard, hoping that our new neighbors will be as awesome as our old ones. And each new place, we encounter a totally different set of people who surprise us in new and tremendously beautiful, human ways.

So, here's to my new neighborhood. To their generous and fun-loving spirits. To their smiles and welcomes and trucks and attitude that says "we are family when we live next door."

Richmond, keep up the lovely surprises. Perhaps God was planning some redemption for us here all along.

It really is a beautiful day for a neighbor.

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