On Saturday, we came home from meeting with the butcher and looking at our new cows to find our driveway plowed. We know which neighbor did it, so I just finished baking some zucchini bread to take over to him. We have another neighbor who lets us borrow her riding tractor during the summer to cut our lawn.
Now maybe these people just feel sorry for us and want to make sure their property values stay high, but I don't think so. It's a cliche that in the country you wave to everyone you pass on the road, but it's one of those cliches with truth behind it. In the country, you need your neighbors. They come over and help you fix your tractor; you go over and help with their hay. It just happens. No one expects payment, maybe a cold beer and a thank you, but no money.
I think Henry and I have been really blessed by the neighbors that we have. Besides the ones mentioned above, we trade work during hay season with one set. A family down the road dropped by this summer with some asparagus they found growing nearby. Another neighbor called to check if we had bought the cows or not and to talk about feeding options for them. (We had pumped him for advice before we made an offer).
We don't share fences with too many of these people, so I don't know if Robert Frost was right but sharing good advice, tractors and some homemade zucchini bread does make for good neighbors.