Every day, we go round the table at supper and each of us says something we're thankful for. I don't say it every day, but I think it more than once--I am SO thankful for good friends and neighbors.
When we moved out here, we knew a few people in Marion, but not many. Diana, a much loved adopted member of the family, ended up moving to take another job. Harry and Margie . . .well, we bought their house. They had to move. None of the Taylors live here anymore. Even Grandma Dorothy moved from the Marion nursing home to Hillsboro. But, well, turns out that friends turn up everywhere.
When we first met our neighbors (at an apple cider pressing event before we bought the place), we knew we'd like them. Little did I know how much. When they came over bearing housewarming gifts (Barb is an amazing baker!), they informed us that there were CONDITIONS to being their neighbors. With some trepidation, I asked what those might be. "We WILL bring you food," said Barb. "And you're not required to bring food back. Also, if you do not ask us to watch your kids, we WILL be offended." Sounded pretty easy to me! Since then, we've swapped recipes, numerous goodies, plus they look out for our critters while we're gone. The kids walk right into their house (which causes me much consternation!) but Barb always makes them welcome. Ralph even took the time to copy pages from a book of his dad's about aging a horse by the teeth. We'll go into more about them in a bit.
Then one day while Lorrie was over, dutifully admiring my chicks, a strange car pulled up. Colleen introduced herself, and while we talked, we discovered that we had almost an uncanny amount in common. Since then, she's been very generous with advice about chickens, cuttings of plants, and just fun to talk and text with. I also can't wait to go walleye fishing with her. Here's hoping we can!
Through Diana, I met Pam. She usually organizes a dog walk plus being president of the Marion Pride committee. When I offered to host the dog walk at our trails here on the farm, she told me "oh, we'd already been planning to come out for Easter!" FUNNY. Heck, I went to a Pride meeting to try to change some things about the farmers' market, and found myself on the committee too! It's always great fun, and you get to meet more great people.
Like David. He's a terrific photographer and journalist for our local paper, as well as being a pretty swell guy. Thanks to him, Scott made the front page, with a full color photo. As if that wasn't good enough, David took pains to accurately quote us (unlike the other guy that said I kicked my husband out of bed in the heat) and wrote a wonderful article. In that same article was . . .
JD. Turns out he heats with wood too and seems pretty cool. I added him on FB cos Barb said I'd like him. I feel rather remiss though--we've lived here for this long, he lives just down the road, and I've never met him face to face! That shall be remedied in the coming week. At least he honks at me if I'm out feeding when he drives by :D Now I just have to convince him to let me borrow his bike . . . .
And then there's Nicole F. Granted, she's not from Marion, but she might just be a sister. Imagine meeting such a cool person on a swap site just because I wanted another brooder cage! Don't worry, Amy and Lorrie--if she has the brain, she'll take good care of it.
And then there are all of my old friends who have stuck with me through thick and thin (sometimes literally!) and all of my wonderful family. Folks, treasure each other. Even people you meet on the Internet can add such wonderful new dimensions to your lives. I've gotten reacquainted with classmates who seem to have gotten niftier since high school. I've met some awesome dog and horse people. Even if you disagree with someone, hey, at least they made you THINK.
Back to Barb and Ralph. Last night, Barb called and asked if the kids were still up. I said yes. She said "shut your dogs away and I'll be over in 3 minutes. You'll understand when I get there." ohhhh-kay? She was right. I did understand.