Where recently an unsightly pile of rotten old logs stood, beside the Manse’s freestanding (and rudimentary) garage, there’s now a clear and nicely raked spot, thanks to our excellent neighbour Johnny Barry. We have such good neighbours!
Neighbours in Queensborough have been wonderful about offering help if needed. So many people have stopped by the Manse when they’ve seen us there, introducing themselves if they’re someone we don’t know, or – in the case of people I knew, or sort of knew, when I lived there long ago – reintroducing themselves. And pretty much everyone has said, “And if you ever need anything…” Which is really nice – especially in a village that’s a 15-minute drive from any stores, which would be most inconvenient if you were in the middle of a recipe and realized you’d run out of eggs or butter. It seems like it’s the kind of place where people really do borrow (and happily lend, if needed) a cup of sugar.
Help has come in other forms too. Of course there’s our friend and neighbour whom I’ve mentioned often, Ed Couperus, who keeps an eye on the house for us and knows what to do should anything be amiss. Ed is just fantastic. And then there are our neighbours Chuck and Ruth Steele, who live in the house that Lois and Carl Gordon once lived in and that was once the manse for the village’s Anglican Church. They have been so gracious, and Chuck has offered his help in liaising with a neighbour, and putting his chainsaw into service, in regard to a problem tree branch that’s leaning on our clothesline and making it unusable.
A porchful of lawn-cleanup bags, which neighbours Penny and Mike very kindly hauled away for us.
And then there are Penny and Mike, whom Joan Mandzy introduced me to. They very kindly offered to take away all the bags of leaves, grass and twigs that I’d raked up in Round 1 of the Great Manse Lawn Cleanup. That saved us a great deal of trouble, and was so much appreciated.
And finally there’s our neighbour around the corner, Johnny Barry, who came one sunny day just as I was wondering what on earth I was going to do about getting the lawn cut regularly, and offered up his services and that of his riding mower. Couldn’t have come at a better time, and the lawn is now in good hands. And there was a bonus: I mentioned in conversation with Johnny at one point that we were trying to figure out how to get rid of a fairly sizeable pile of old and pretty rotten logs that was near the garage, probably the remainder of a tree that once stood on the property. Since we don’t have a pickup truck or a trailer (unlike all the sensible people in Queensborough), we didn’t have many options. When we arrived at the Manse this past Sunday for our very brief overnight visit, lo and behold the logs were all gone, and the area all nicely tidied up. In addition to the lawn having been mowed! And we could barely manage to get Johnny to take any money for it.
We have a whole bunch of great neighbours. We are very lucky in Queensborough – in very many ways.