Monday, March 26, 2012

Thankful for... living in town

Hubby and I both grew up in fairly rural areas.  Well, let me clarify, we both grew up in rural counties in our respective states of residence, and within those counties, we both grew up on rural county roads, as compared to "in town".  So, when we decided to buy a house smack in the middle of the town that is our county seat, we both knew it would be a bit of an adjustment.

I had less of an adjustment, since I had moved out at 24 for graduate school.  I lived "in town" the entire time I was in graduate school, then when I moved to Pittsburgh, I lived in (several of) the South Hills suburbs, which were in and of themselves little towns.  So, for me, it was more an adjustment to living in a house, as opposed to an apartment.  I had been used to hearing other residents moving around my building, so the first few times I was in our house alone, it was a little scary!

For Hubby, the adjustment was much bigger.  He, too, had moved out for college and grad school, but when he was finished, he moved back in with his parents.  When he moved into our house, it was his first real, permanent, move.  Dealing with street parking, lots of sirens from the 3 local fire houses, and neighbors 2 feet away from our house, not to mention all the changes our particular street has undergone in the nearly 3 years we have lived here (nearly 3 years?  already?!).  Luckily, we happened to buy a house on a fabulous street.  We live on a one way street that is a mix of long term residents and young families.  Once we got over a few bumps adjusting to neighbors, I can say that this is probably one of the nicest, quietest streets in town.  Last fall, a large housing development was added for seniors at the end of our block.  We all had concerns, but honestly, we rarely ever see any of the neighbors from that development, and the pretty houses and landscaping have really perked up the street.

All in all, people keep to themselves on our street, but everyone is really kind.  We are all so busy that we just do not see each other much.  But today, I was reminded why living in town has become a blessing to us.

Our neighbors to each side had fencing along the side boundaries of our yard, so our first full summer here, Hubby and my dad fenced in the back and put fencing up to the house, so our back yard is completely fenced in.  This is great for the doggies.  However, it is a pain for cutting grass, because we have to drag the mower out through the gate to cut the side and front yards.  On top of that, last summer, I talked Hubby into buying a manual mower to help be a little greener (and to help us get some extra exercise).  It is quite cumbersome to drag it through that gate.

With the early warm spring weather, our yard had become a jungle, and today, I decided to give Hubby a surprise but tackling the first mow of the year.  His current work shift gets him home after dark, and I knew if we waited until next weekend to mow, it would be a complete mess.  As I was dragging the manual mower up from the basement, and trying to get into the groove, our next door neighbor was mowing along his side of the fence line.  He stopped his mower, and remarked that he saw I was manually mowing, and since he knew it would take me a long time, he was going to mow my front and side yards for me.  I was beyond grateful!  He cut my mow time in half, simply because I would not have to maneuver the gate and fence.

In this small act of kindness, which took him a fraction of the time it would have taken me, my neighbor reminded me how truly thankful I am to live in this town, on this street, with these neighbors.