Neighbors

Jeff Moriarty’s comment about neighbors on my storm entry brought me up short. So even thought I just posted something, here I am back again.

I’ve lived much of my life in cities, so I know exactly what Jeff means about not really knowing the people who live 10 feet away. And I think that’s really what’s so different about being out here.

We pretty much know everyone for about 20 miles in three directions. And of course, they pretty much know us. That includes people to whom we’ve never been introduced. It has its good and bad points, but it’s necessary, because you never know when you’re going to need someone or they are going to need you. This series of little valleys is more of a community than any place I’ve ever lived.

The first time (in recent years) that Ben moved the meadow (in a successful attempt to get rid of the berries I was complaining about last time), he went to Elk City a few hours later. Bear in mind that Elk City is 11 miles away over gravel road. When he walked into the store, the owner, said, “I hear you mowed your field and it looks real good.” Even Ben was blown away by that one.

I mentioned Kaleb, the teenager who’s a bit of a local hero now. He’s 16, and happened to be out and about on his 4-wheeler when he heard an odd noise by the river. The noise he heard was someone’s car going off the road and into the river, which was flowing pretty hard. The driver was a young woman somewhat the worse for alcohol who managed to struggle out the car window but was rapidly being swept away. She said later she was actually going under when Kaleb simply waded into the river and pulled her out. He’s a rather quiet and modest young man who credited his first aid training in high school with giving him the confidence to attempt it.

But that’s how neighbors behave where I live, and I like it.

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