Tuesday, April 25, 2017
On the Kindness of Neighbors
Remember the super-plow that swooped in after the monster snowstorm and plowed us out? Well, we never did get a bill. And then when we were visiting Ms. Rita's chickens and rabbits just last week, she happened to mention that she had seen the tractor go by after the storm and wasn't it nice of the farmers to plow us out.
Turns out, it was one of the two bachelor brothers that run a small dairy farm on the corner of our road. I had never seen that particular John Deere tractor out and about, but I took a close look in their farmyard and saw the very same tractor that had plowed our driveway.
Oh. Well, don't I feel like an ass.
I mean, he plowed us out over a month ago and we never even said thank you. Granted, I've never met either of the brothers and didn't even know their names. But still. Some gesture was in order.
So I made them some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. That appears to be my go-to "thanks for removing snow for us" token of appreciation.
I brought the cookies over this morning and met the brother that was currently working in the barn. He wasn't the one who did the actual plowing, but he was happy to take the cookies. We had a nice chat about his farm and taxes and the future of dairy farming. His retirement plan consists of selling his 70 dairy cows and instead just producing small square bales of hay for sale.
Not many retirement-age people are planning on baling hay in their golden years, but I suppose if you've spent your entire life milking cows twice a day in this climate, haying might seem like a restful second career.
Also on the topic of neighborliness, there was a surprise in our mailbox yesterday. It was a self-delivered envelope from Emma-Friday, the dog that wasn't a stray. Actually, it was from her owner, Joe, but he had addressed it as from Emma, which I thought was really funny. Inside was a thank-you note from Joe expressing his appreciation for our kindness to his dog, and a $20 gift card to Tractor Supply*.
This was very unexpected. Nice, but unexpected. I mean, we did find and take care of his dog, but we also found her only a mile from her house, then drove her 250 miles away and kept her for a week. I was actually sort of embarrassed about that, and I was thinking if I was Joe, I might be kind of irritated about the situation. And here he is, dropping off a thank-you note and a gift.
Way to be, Joe. And Mr. Dairy Farmer. We lucked out on neighbors with this move, for sure.
* Tractor Supply is a farm store. It's like Target for country people.