Prior to writing this post there was a short lived attempt at finding a quote about neighbors. Something that spoke about how indispensable, helpful, etc, they can be. What followed would make the past days even more humbling. Page after page of quotes from the likes of Jane Austen to Benjamin Franklin about how difficult neighbors can be. Seeing this was a stark reminder of just how lucky we have been.
You see, while we were muddled in the building permit process we embarked on cleaning up the field, which as we pointed out in the past post, took much longer than expected. Keeping with this theme of things happening at inopportune times, we would find ourselves still left with the whole field to turn under (after mowing) and a freshly minted building permit, both projects needing immediate attention. We were torn and short. Enter: our neighbor.
Bill, our neighbor, a retired airplane engineer had expressed interest in our tractor and driving it, but we always demurred. “What about the liabilities”, we thought. It took our backs being up against the wall to finally throw our caution to the wind, to give into his gracious offer. Starting in the early mornings with his “pre-flight checklist”, for the next week and a half we would watch Bill as he crisscrossed the field at 2 miles per hour in rain, heat and everything in between. We had a hard time keeping enough diesel fuel in the tractor.
It’s hard to know what the road ahead has in store for us and Bill, but we’ve certainly learned a valuable and humbling lesson in accepting the offered help of those who surround us. A simple, some could say obvious lesson, but one often too easy to forget.
For instance, without this lesson we might have passed on our friend Adam’s offer, who stopped by just as we were about to build into place a 900 pound beam of wood and steel. After over five hours of lifting, cutting, banging, cursing, when the sun had long set and a large thundercloud loomed, we’d finally get the last bolts through to hold it in place.
And because of all of this, we are now completely tilled and framed to the second floor. In other words, back on schedule.