Tuesday, July 15, 2008


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.


Kristi said...

Hi Sis. I too remember how everyone helped everyone else out -from wood cutting to branding and moving cattle. Baker is still the friendly place to live, with strangers waving at you and neighbors letting you know when your car dome light is on. Maybe you should move back!!!! (wink, wink) Selfish of me I know!

Em said...

That is so sweet, I think the reason people are changing is because so many people are 'on the move' - transplants from other places and they just don't know how to act. It is hard to get used to people NOT being so friendly.

Kristi said...

Even when you reach out to try and be friendly, people are suspicious. They wonder what's your angle. I do have one really wonderful neighbor. The others , sigh, I haven't cracked the ice yet after 14 years. It's wonderful to have others looking out for you and you looking out for others. I hope you have the beginning of a long new friendship.

Mental P Mama said...

{{{{Leland}}}} Thank goodness...one of the best stories of the week. I miss people like Leland.

Tipper said...

Glad you found a new friend who is a neighbor too!

Jill said...

I miss that about Baker too--how everyone is so friendly and you rarely pass someone without them smiling and/or waving! I try to make myself do the same thing now, regardless of my mood, because I know how it lifts my spirits! Leland sounds like a corker--I wish I'd have been there! And your fields look wonderful!

The W.O.W. factor said...

I couldn't agree more here. THAT is exactly why we choose to live the way we do. Those few years in AZ reaffirmed the fact that we ARE different...we thrive where neighbors truly are neighbors...help and support each other. You all become one big "family"