Biggest item on my agenda today was making sure my mom got everything out of her old refrigerator (with broken freezer) in time for the nice delivery people to install her a shiny new one. May not seem like much. Then again, those of us blessed to have mothers to help or who’ve ever endured this task on our own know there are endless opportunities for error (starting with the fact, that the people scheduling said deliveries are in another country, if not another planet, while their delivering representatives here on the ground (i.e. in her driveway) are stuck waiting for being two hours too early. (I’m thinking appliance folks should team up with cable people. For once I actually wanted a 4-hour delivery window, but I digress…This is not a blog about refrigerator deliveries. Nor is it a blog about tossing age old contents from a 20-year old frig much as I’d love to make it that, cause leave it to my frugal Mom to have frozen coconut dating back to 2004, but again, I digress.)
Instead, this is a blog about yet another unspoken plus that epitomizes country living, which is to say: neighbors.
Mom thanked me profusely for coming in like a drill sergeant when I got word that the delivery folks were in her drive (a full hour before their company was supposed to even call her to confirm the afternoon appointment window). But in all honesty, I can’t take full credit. Yes, I’m wired to roll with last minute changes, while focusing on the end game, but truth be told, It takes a village. And more and more these days, my village of neighbors is every bit as much family as Mom ( again… another example of life lived in circles and cycles and not straight lines).
Let me give you a glimpse of where mine came in to play:
Somewhere between morning routines and fielding Mom’s call that the delivery folks were coming early, I hear a knock on my door (sound effects accompanied by barking dogs). Turns out it was my neighbor and farming mentor Thurman, just stopping by on his tractor to check my soil while confirming we’ve got goats to drench before Saturday (“drench” meaning “de-worming” by way of a formula that must be squirted into their little goat mouths by syringe (minus the needle part)—It’s a two person proposition--one to hold/one to squirt--so I’ll need help. Thurman was on top of it. Got goats going to auction this weekend. Gotta get ‘em ready.
Before that, my first text of the day was from another neighbor confirming, “yes” I could borrow some coolers (for the Mom-frig operation) …and that he’d left ‘em outside his garage.
While pulling together the rest of what Mom needed (mostly ice, from two freezers, another neighbor-assisted gesture enhanced by the orange buckets I’d yet to return to the kind one who brought my dogs meat scraps a couple of weeks back). I got a call from my next door neighbor, wanting to borrow my little green wagon to haul some stuff from one place to another in her yard…the most difficult part of the task being us clearing a path in my messy garage to get it out.
All this to say: It really does take a village. And while I am comfy in the role of idiot, I must say I adore the fact that when something needs doing in the country (at least on the street I live on) no one worries too much about “Is it ok to ask?” or “Will they think I’m imposing?” No. In the country, when someone says, “What are you doing today?” You answer quite honestly, and you don’t hesitate to say, “Oh, and by the way, can I borrow _________?” (Fill in the blank.)
It’s kinda new for a girl who would otherwise never impose.
But in the country, it doesn’t feel like imposing.
It feels like what family does for family when a need arises.
In the end, there is family we’re born to, and family we live by, and even family we get to choose.
Even more fun when life lets you blend ‘em all together.