Love Thy Neighbor
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One thing I really like about living out here in BFE is the people. The main reason I moved form south Florida four years ago, was because of the rude people. That and the heat, the concrete, the crime….need I go on? I’ve lived most of my life in and around Ft. Lauderdale. In that area, you don’t talk to strangers. I’m not talking what you tell your six year old, I mean it doesn’t matter if you are six, sixteen, or sixty…you don’t talk to anyone on the street, in a store, or at a stop light for fear you will get hurt or killed. You walk with your head down. You don’t make eye contact. You don’t introduce yourselves to the new neighbors for goodness sake! Sad isn’t it? You expect everyone to be a stalker, a rapist or a killer. You know every time you do business you’re gonna get screwed. When someone calls on the phone, family in the Midwest would start a conversation, “Who is this?”. If you live in the Midwest, this is normal. If you life in south Florida, you’d say, “Who the hell is this, and don’t ever call here again!” and hang up before even hearing who it is on the other line. It’s a scary place to grow up really.
I didn’t realize how paranoid of everyone I was until I moved out here, and had no reason to be.
Our second day here, we were outside, and this man comes walking down our driveway with a HUGE dog lopping behind him. Being a city girl, my first instinct was to put up my ‘badass’ persona, and find out what the heel he wants. Turns out he was just the guy who lives on the other side of our property line, beyond the creek-bed, and wanted to come down the road and introduce himself. Hubby was out with me, so he talked to him. I’m shy & paranoid, so I just sat back, watched the conversation and pet the dog. Paul gave us his phone number and told us if we needed anything to call. Of course being jaded like I am, I figure he’s just being nice and didn’t mean it.
A couple days later, a guy and two boys came ambling down the road towards our house. Thankfully hubby was outside, because I just can’t deal with new people like this. It freaks me out. They introduced themselves, spoke a little, and they went on their merry way on their walk. Turns out one of the boys is now in a few of my son’s classes. The Conner’s I think was their name. Cool.
As we drove these winding dirt roads to and from the towns and cities, be began to notice that everyone, I mean everyone, waves at each other on the road. Whether you are driving, walking, or whatever, you wave. Huh. People around here are………..nice.
As I’m out front doing stuff, I’ve had a couple people stop by and tell me, “Welcome to the neighborhood”. I still freak out, and my first instinct is to be defensive, but I’m getting better.
I really started to find out how nice people around here were when I had the Dirctlink guy come out to see if we could get wireless internet. Big Jim was sorry that there wasn’t a way, but was very conversational, and spoke about how he lived in the area for over 30 years. The conversation moved to our troubles, and one of which being our well. The guy actually walked around with me, and checked out some stuff in the basement trying to figure out what was wrong with our water pressure. I mean, this guy was here like 45 minutes or more, AFTER he told us he couldn’t service our home with internet. No way in Florida would anyone do that! They’d jump in there truck and goof off until the next appointment, not help someone with an unrelated matter!
Of course, lets not forget my truck breaking down. Oh boy, that was a day. My truck broke down on the way back from the bus stop, in the middle of nowhere. Hubby was off on a special assignment shuffling dignitaries around and couldn’t come home. I knew NO ONE here to get a ride home with. It is twelve miles from the bus stop to home. A long walk that I wasn’t looking forward to. Then of course, I had no way to get my truck home, nor to pick up my son from school (30 miles from home). About 15-20 minutes sitting there waiting for hubby to call me back to possibly find a tow truck for me, a woman who I’ve seen at the bus stop pulled over to ask what was wrong. She was soooooo nice. Not only did she flag down a guy who was also taking his son to school to give me a ride home (she couldn’t as she had a Dr. appt.), but she volunteered to pick my son up from school that day AND take him & pick him up until my car was fixed. Debbie was a savior that day and really changed my outlook on people. She went a couple miles out of her way everyday for a week for me & my son. It was also great cuz her son is in the same grade as mine and in a few classes together. To make the whole disastrous truck breaking down thing even less stressful, later that evening when hubby got home, the guy, Bill, who gave me a ride, helped hubby tow my truck with his truck. How awesome is that?! It’s also cool because even though his son is a grade below mine, they’re in study hall together, and ride the bus. My boy is making some friends. I’m sure it has alot to do with the kindness of the kids out here as well.
Boy, do I really need to make these guys some thank you cookies!
One last thing that really makes me liking the people out here a helluva lot more than Florida is, when hubby was out working on the fuel pump, one of the bolts on the tank cover snapped. Oddly, a while later a guy pulled into the driveway. He said he was neighbors with Bill and wanted to stop by to introduce himself. When the guy found out that he had a bolt break, he was like, “Come with me, we’ll find someone with one”. They went off to a couple houses, and Willie down the street had the right bolt. We didn’t have to make a third trip into the city (a 3 hr jaunt, mind you) for another part!
Hubby was told, that around here, since it’s so far to the city that if you need something, you ask a neighbor. If your neighbor doesn’t have what you’re looking for, he’ll know someone who does. You save things around here. Parts, tools, equipment, etc. in case your neighbor needs something. If someone needs to borrow your chainsaw, you do, cuz next month, you may need to borrow their backhoe. It’s just a wonderful experience, and something that is just so foreign to me.
Kindness. Helpfulness. Courtesy…. Amazing!