Mighty Fine Neighbors.

As much as I might like to complain from time to time about “living in the middle of nowhere”, I truly do love the town that we live in. We have a really good school system for living in such a rural area, we have plenty of privacy, and we are surrounded by some very nice people that we call “neighbors.”

There are several families on our road that we have never even met ~ we just know them by the quick waves that are given when you pass each other on the road. Others we have met only once or twice. And then others have become very good friends of ours.

Even though we don’t know all of them very well, we have learned that rural neighbors tend to look out for each other no matter what your circumstances might be. We’ve had one neighbor who noticed that we were gone on vacation and let us know when we got back that he had watched to make sure the house was okay while we were gone. One snowy winter day, another neighbor showed up in our driveway and plowed the entire thing for us so that we would be able to get out the next day (and our driveway is very loooooong so it really was an extremely nice thing for him to do.) There is another local man who drives his tractor around the area during the summer and will let you take your pick of any extra home-grown fruits and vegetables that he might have available. They are all really nice people that we feel blessed to share a neighborhood with.

One of these very nice neighbors is a little elderly widowed man named Mr. Geiss who is quite active in our small community.

Mr. Geiss was one of the first people to welcome us to our neighborhood eight years ago and he was also the one that informed us that our property was located on the highest point in our town. (That little fact meant nothing to me until I started jogging three months ago and realized that no matter which way I go, I am always running uphill at the end of my jog.) Mr. Geiss is a wealth of information.

Mr. Geiss is also very involved in our local Ruritan Club. I’m not really sure what exactly a “Ruritan Club” is…but I have learned that they like to have Swiss Steak dinners for the community. And anytime that there is going to be a Swiss Steak dinner for our community, Mr. Geiss is going to be showing up at our door and will do his best to convince us that the Swiss Steak Dinner is a “must attend event” for the Arthur family.

Here’s the thing though…none of my kids like swiss steak. Sweatiepy is ambivalent about swiss steak at best. I think swiss steak is okay, but it’s not really a meal that I would choose to make.

But how do you say “Oh, that’s okay but no thank you!” to sweet, elderly, little Mr. Geiss?

You can’t! And that is why we always end up dragging all of the kids over to our tiny community center four times a year for the Ruritan Club Swiss Steak Dinner.

So, guess who showed up at our door last week to invite us to the upcoming Ruritan Club Swiss Steak Dinner? And guess how much the Ruritan Club really needs their community to pull together to raise money to buy the community center a new refrigerator? And guess how sweet Mr. Geiss was when he was asking Sweatiepy if our family would be able to be there?

Sweatiepy tried his best to decline, but Mr. Geiss pulled a trick out of his magic hat. “Bill.” He said. “I’ve noticed that you haven’t had the time to cut down your weeds over there.” (Remember our “natural” property?) “It’d be really easy for me to cut those weeds down with my big mower. Would you mind if I come over some time next week to do that for you?”

And guess who showed up a few minutes ago with his big mower?

And guess which family will be going to the Ruritan Club Swiss Steak Dinner in a few days?

Ya gotta love your neighbors when they are as sweet and generous (and sneaky) as that guy is! He’s one of our favorite people around here.