The blessings of good neighbors and trips down memory lane

Dec. 01, 2012 @ 08:45 PM

A long time has passed since I heard the sound of a chainsaw or smelled the aroma of wood cutting at my house. 

Sawing wood, splitting logs and stacking the firewood near our shed was an always an early autumn dreaded task, years ago, that meant many Saturdays of hard work for my parents and their grown children.  The wood was sawed meticulously to fit the heater in their house and for hours on end we’d feed the log splitter or stack the wood. No one ran the saw but Daddy.

 I hadn’t done any of those tasks in  decades until Saturday morning.

A few weeks ago a very large limb broke off an enormous tree beside the shed and of course landed on top. I’ve been looking at the limb ever since trying to figure out how I was going to get it off the shed.

At the same time, I’ve also been trying to get the leaves out of my yard.

I don’t mean a little brush through with a couple rakes, grab a sheet or two full and fill the sheets and drag them to the field and the task is over.

This job is massive. When my parents lived there, it was not a problem. Six people and in-laws and kids can get the job done quickly.

A week ago, I began the task, spending a couple hours raking all the leaves from beside the house, creating massive piles in the front and side yards.

Seven days later, the piles were still there and looking bigger every day. 

My yard man has a busy schedule and hasn’t gotten to the job.

What’s a girl to do?

In the process of leaving the house Friday night for a Christmas party, I saw my next door neighbors — the ones whose yard is full of leaves because of my trees. I hadn’t talked to them in weeks, although we wave every day in passing.

After  talking about work and retirement, I was walking back to the house when she asked about the leaves.

Oh, these leaves. These piles. These eyesores. 

Retired since August, my neighbor informed me she wanted something to do and said she and Charlie would get the leaves.

Was I hearing things? Music to my ears.

These wonderful neighbors, both retired with grandchilren and plenty to do, were offering to help me do a job that I couldn’t seem to get accomplished. 

Offering to pay them the same as my yard man, which they wouldn’t hear of, but I wouldn’t hear otherwise, the agreement was made, standing under a starry sky on the last day of November. My yard was going to be clear before Christmas. 

Sure enough, Saturday morning as I was heading out to work, I caught a glimpse of my neighbor walking beside the house and then I heard it, the sweet, sweet sound of the leaf blower.

Joining them briefly, I  gathered a couple rakes and a sheet to assist them, but first things first, Charlie said.

He was  adamant about getting the massive limb off my shed before it caused damage.

Removing the limb, too? Life is good.

So out there in the very same area where for years I helped saw wood with my parents, my neighbors and I were sawing up limbs and putting them in the trailer for hauling off and giving away for firewood.

It had also been a long time since I had yelled to anyone, “Please be careful. Don’t fall off that shed. Watch that ladder,” which seemed to be my task years ago. A person on top of a building with a chainsaw in his hand, makes me nervous.

Then my neighbors and I laughed as we remembered the many times the three of us had yelled the came words of caution to my mother — who seemed to be an accident waiting to happen.

These neighbors of mine have been friends for decades and as I headed off to work Saturday, I thanked the Lord for the blessings of neighbors, especially mine.

This much dreaded job was getting done and another trip down memory lane, priceless.