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Good Neighbors=Good Friends

June 20, 2009

Living in the country, you soon learn to rely on your neighbors and they, in turn, rely on you. Besides Joe and Mary, our landlords, we had a lovely neighbor whom we both came to love.

Carol was 84, widowed for many years, and lived alone. She was a tiny little thing, not over 95 pounds, with dark gray hair cropped short for easy care. She had family and neighbors she could count on in times of need but as she grew older and became encumbered by age-related disabilities, she was in need of help more often.

We met Carol at the end of August when we were trying to go into town to fill our water buckets. The jeep broke down in front of her house which was across the road from Joe and Mary‘s place. We knocked and asked to use her phone for help. She was just darling to us! “Oh yes, I know about you two. You are the new ‘babes in the woods’! We had a good laugh over that! While Rick used the phone, her and I chatted and I learned that she was enrolled in the Meals on Wheels program for her lunch but didn’t eat anything until then. She said she just didn’t feel up to fixing a breakfast so she just snacked until noon when her lunch would arrive. Her daughter-in-law came in the evenings with dinner for her.

During the course of the conversation I had looked around and could see thick layers of dust on everything and her little house was in such disarray with things stacked or scattered here and there. She needed help.

While waiting for Rick’s brother to come help with the jeep, she told us to gather up our water buckets from the jeep and fill them from the outside garden hose. Cool!! We wouldn’t have to drive all the way into town just for that!!

In exchange for the water, she told Rick he could come up to her back lot and cut her some wood as her supply was running low (wood cutting usually starts in late August or early September to ensure a large enough supply for the winter months). This would free up her son from having to do it so often. She also told him to take some for our use also. He readily agreed as he was already ‘in love’ with this bright and cheerful little lady. She was full of anecdotes about country living and was a joy to visit.

Rick’s brother finally arrived and they got the jeep running. They loaded up the full water buckets and we agreed to come up the next morning so Rick could cut some wood for her. We went up early in the morning while it was still cool. Rick went out to the back lot and cut trees and split them for firewood, I stayed with Carol to visit. At one point, she got up to get a snack and I offered to make her a real breakfast. At first she said no, that she would be fine. Then she relented and said “Only if you’ll eat, too!” Well ok, I’ll eat too! I fixed biscuit and gravy and scrambled eggs. She said to put some back for Rick so I did. She gobbled that breakfast like she was starving!!

So! It ended up that we could get our water for free at her house, from then on, and Rick would cut wood for her (which we would benefit from as she was generous with her woodpile) and she had breakfast fixed for her on the weekends and I got to learn many things from this wise and wonderful woman!! Later on, I visited and straightened/dusted her rooms for her while we had nice long talks.

In later years, she became a best friend to me and a cohort in my leaving Rick secretly. I loved her dearly and still miss her.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2009 11:12 am

    What a beautiful story and what a tribute to a special lady.
    Thank you.

  2. June 21, 2009 12:26 pm

    Thanks Jonie! She became a true friend to me and I’ll never forget her.

  3. gardenbear permalink
    June 21, 2009 4:42 pm

    I enjoyed hearing about Carol. We had an elderly lady that lived next door to us when my kids were little. We spent a lot of time with her and she became an adopted grandma to my kids. Even though we both ended up moving, we would still visit her now and then. She passed away last year, but we have many fond memories of her.

  4. Groundy permalink
    June 21, 2009 5:07 pm

    Awww, Barbie that was a wonderful story.

    I think it’s great she helped you. A true friend with uncondtional love and respect.
    Something people lack today…

    Bless you both!


  5. June 21, 2009 5:17 pm

    GB, thanks for being here! I have fond memories of Carol, too! She was a tiny little woman with a lot of spunk!

    Groundy, yes it is sad that friendship like that is so hard to find these days. 😦

  6. Groundy permalink
    June 21, 2009 6:10 pm

    I personally know of 5 friends like this..
    I treasure them all and then some.

    They’ve never done a thing to harm/hurt me at all.. hell they go out of their way to make sure I am okay.
    I do the same for them…

    Thanks for the great reminder

  7. June 22, 2009 12:53 pm

    Oh, Barbara! What a lovely story.

    There are so many truly beautiful people in this world.

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