When I was growing up my father and mother were always helping neighbors close by and not so close by with everything from lambing season to plowing roads and training animals. My dad never thought twice about taking his herd of sheep over to our neighbor, George, and shearing, medicating and all that goes with that together. They would split the cost of the shearer and we watched over his animals because he also owned the local bakery and he and his wife lived in town. Relatives and some neighbors would help each other during haying season and my father shared an interest in a bull with another neighbor as well.
My point here is that when we moved to a bigger area we noticed how people were not that neighborly or even remotely friendly. It was rather a culture shock to realize that many of the people who live close to you day to day you will not know much more about them than perhaps their names and sometimes not even that. Everyone seems to keep to themselves. We grew up in a community of people that even if you did not know them you waved and acknowledged them. We now wave at everyone we pass in our car or walking and a few will wave back with kind of a shocked look but many will not even look our way.
In a way it makes me sad that we don't seem to treat each other as humans sometimes. I am not saying that everyone is this way because for sure I have met many nice people. But it is just not the same comforting feeling as I remember.
Until a couple of days ago.
This is an old time farmer who lives in the rural community and is a third generation on his property. His wife was also raised in this area and still owns land from her family. His name is Leland. Leland appeared one evening out of the blue in his big old pickup truck covered with dirt, sweat and a big smile with a handshake. After he introduced himself he said he was up in the area mowing hay for a few neighbors and wondered if we would like him to mow and bale our little old field.
Well I jumped on that and we made a barter that if he would mow he could have the hay and he was happy about that. Here is Leland baling away one evening last week.
Two of the big bales that were left when he was through. Leland has restored my childhood warm and fuzzy memory.