The blue pickup pulled out of the driveway and headed slowly toward me. The truck pulled into my driveway, the window rolled down and he said, “You’ll be over tomorrow, right? I’m cooking out again, and I want you over there.” His usual, big smile on his face, he insisted. “If you don’t, I’ll send Jason and Jennifer over to drag you over.”
That’s my neighbor, Larry. He’s taken to inviting me over every Sunday to “socialize,” as he calls it, insisting that he’s going to teach me Southern ways if it kills him. He’s persistent, that’s for sure, and for the first time in my life, I have great neighbors that have become a large part of why I call this place “home.”
I never met my neighbors until I found out that one of the people I worked with actually lived there. Larry’s son Jason was my first introduction to the family, and we ended up mowing together – him on his lawn mower, me on mine (back when it ran).
It’s nothing for any of us to see each other outside and wander over for company and conversation. Jennifer loves to ride Odin, Larry loves to bring Odin apples and carrots, baby Thomas will hold up his arms to me to picked up and Larry loves to chat. I have become an adopted member of their family, and they watch out for me, something I’ve never experienced before.
Yesterday, Jennifer came over to check if Odin needed water. The day before, she and Jason came over to turn my water back on at the meter. And, more than a few times, Larry has let me borrow his lawn mower. Not long ago, Larry fixed my circuit box, and his friend came over with his backhoe to level out what was left of the winter’s round bales.
It’s all new to me. When I come home from work, I’m coming home to more than just my dogs and horse. I’m coming home to family, accepted, respected and welcomed. They all watch out for me. It’s a sense of security I’ve never had before.
My life is suddenly much bigger than it’s ever been, and it’s all because of my great neighbors.