I grew up in the country and it was just a natural thing then I guess. People always waved to each other and talked as you passed and left extra zucchini on your porch and helped out when you needed it. It’s been 20+ years since I lived in the country though and my city life has sort of become ingrained. We moved to Nashville and it was a huge culture shock to me…from a town of 600 or so people to a town of a million and a half. I remember as we drove in to Nashville on one of our first visits, there was a guy in a car ramming another guy in a car going full speed down the interstate among how-ever-many lanes of traffic there were then. It wasn’t a wreck…yet. They were road-raging and ramming each other. I knew this wasn’t quite like where I grew up.
The ridge board that supports the rafters at the top end
So, I became a city boy and all that friendly stuff had to be put on the back burner. It’s not that people in a city aren’t friendly once you get to know them… it’s just that you have to find a way to get to know them first and sometimes even neighbors aren’t interested in getting to know one another.
So, fast forward a bit. The folks from whom we bought the property still live on the land they retained the next hillside over. Larry, Granny Sue’s husband, delivered some scaffolding he had over at his place a few weeks back. He showed us how to set it up and use it and has let us keep it up there as long as we need it. And then last weekend as we were working on setting up our rafters. One of the boys (they are grown men but we call the brothers that live near us, “the boys” and I think they would be ok with that) came by on his 4-wheeler to ask if he could hunt on our property. I told him that any of the boys and their family could hunt but I didn’t want anyone else who didn’t live up there hunting. I would have never known whether they hunted or not during the week but I am really glad he asked.
Anyhow, we agreed that he could hunt so I figured he would go on to do other things with his day. Instead, to our surprise, he asked if we needed help. I was thrilled because Emily and I were trying to maneuver 16 foot long 2×8 boards around by ourselves on the second story of the deluxe shed. It was going to end up with a bout of intense negotiation. So, our friend climbed up and we started to work. We worked an hour or so before we had to head home.
That’s about half of the rafters done!
Now that’s one thing, helping a guy for an hour, but the next day we got up there and my friend came over and brought his brother with him! We worked together all day long and got half of the faters in place and secured! They were a huge help and I was delighted to get to know them a little better. We had met on other occasions, but we hadn’t really talked or goofed around before. Aside from their tremendous help, I absolutely loved the sense of community and belonging that we have felt up on the ridge. The neighbors across the way (she’s a sister to the brothers) came to visit the first day we showed up. Our kids have played with their kids every time we are up there. They invited us to a potluck dinner one night where we talked about all sorts of things and may have solved the world’s problems. The brothers who helped with the rafters along with Larry and Granny Sue have been so kind and helpful as we work on the new place. With the utmost respect I say that I am so glad to have country neighbors!