Saturday, June 13, 2009


I just wrote about my neighbor, Leor, who took down many un-savable pine trees from the hill behind my house. (I have some pretty awesome pictures of the whole thing, but the memory card was not in the camera, so the photos are currently stuck on the internal memory...if I ever figure that out, I'll post them.) (Also, have I mentioned here that Scotty used to call Leor "Eyore", which made me laugh, and now he's graduated to calling him "Yo-lore", which is still the cutest thing ever. I'll probably cry when he starts saying his name correctly, though Leor will probably be pretty stoked.)

Parenthetical sides aside, hahaha, it's really affected how I see things lately. It took him about 6 hours, and it was really hot that day, and yes, I worked my ass off right there alongside him, but, hello, it's my house, so I can hardly say it counts. I was driving the boys to school shortly after all the work was done, and I saw two men moving a couple palettes of enormous rock and flagstone over a fence and into their backyard. One man was on the outside of the fence, with the materials, and one was on the inside. Outside Guy was handing them over the fence to Inside Guy. As I was driving by, I thought to myself about community, and how such a big job could have been made so much easier if many neighbors had come out to help move those rocks.

Not because people have to help you do such hard laborious jobs, but because it would be so nice if they did. I stopped and helped with a particularly large boulder, and they were so cute about it (I'm freakishly strong), but I needed to pick up the boys, so I didn't linger. It just really had me thinking.

A couple of days ago, Leor came over to see if Scotty could play. Does that sound nutty? It's not, it's sweet. Scotty likes to 'help' Leor, who has a pretty large piece of property (about an acre, most of it on a hill), and he has an enormous tractor he uses to take down trees, grade the hill for the orchard he's putting in, etc. Scotty is in heaven.

Inevitably, because I think Leor is hilarious, and we actually have a lot in common, we all three end up working on a little project, hanging out, and laughing quite a bit. When Erik came home from work, he took the opportunity to thank Leor again for all he had done with the trees.

Leor has said all along that he did it because he said he would, in some offhand way, when he first moved in, but honestly, nobody was holding him to that! He knew that, too, but he wanted to 'keep his word'. Okay, but seriously, it's fine! But standing in our driveway, he said the most interesting thing. He's from Israel, and he said, "Here, everybody needs to get paid, for everything. That's how it works, you need trees removed so you call the tree service, and they make their money. But in Israel, there is no tree service. You need trees removed? You call your buddy, because he has a chainsaw, and he comes takes down your trees. Then he calls you when you can do something that he can't."

That's what I'm talking about. Then Erik sent me this link about Amish finances, and it's really a great read, but it's funny because I've been thinking about the Amish a lot, in this other context. I'm sure there are other wonderful communities that have that 'chip in' mentality, but this is the one that comes to my mind (I know nothing about them, sorry, if I'm stereotyping here!) and I think there's a lot to learn from people who think this way. The financial story is really good, on it's own, by the way.

1 comment:

  1. I know people (especially on the west coast) are so tired of hearing about Texas, but I have to say it again... That is what I love about living in this State. The HUGE sense of community. It is what makes me stay. I wish you could come see for yourself Mimi - you would love it. If people have something, they share it, no questions asked. If they have a resource, they lend it (just like your neighbor). If someone is broken down on the side of the road, a perfect stranger will pull over and help them on their way. The other day I was completely moved - I was driving down a 2 lane highway when everyone ahead of me started to pull to the side of the road, some got out of their cars, some didn't...and it was all for a funeral procession coming the opposite way. They didn't have to pull over. There was a good 20ft median between us. But they did. So cute! And I am not even in a small town. I live in San Antonio for pete's sake. The small towns are even better!!

    I am glad that you have such a good neighbor. They can be hard to come by. And so sweet of you to stop and help those men.