are some of the great stories taking place around you? Behind
closed doors, near where you live, more or less hidden from view?
and I had been debating what to do with some of the extra vegetables
from our garden. Main conversations took place many weeks ago,
when the first cucumbers and zucchinis began arriving.
the end, friends and co-workers have taken care of the above and
beyond what we could use harvest. But for a while, we were considering
roadside stands at the end of our driveway, honor box setups,
and so on.
despite our talks, we weren’t thinking seriously about a stand
until we passed a house that had veggies-for-sale at the end of
their driveway. A brief slowdown and check it out on the way back
home that day seemed to reveal we had a better quality and assortment
of produce coming out of our garden.
next day I dropped Terry off, turned the car in a direction that
went just a bit further down the road so I could take care of
a few things, and I saw a second stand that effectively wrapped
up and brought to an end the thoughts of offering vegetables in
some fashion from our driveway this year. Because at this spot,
the stand offered them up for free.
I said, we had people asking us about the stuff we had, and very
little really went to waste. If it got picked in our garden, it
found a home. But not too far away from our house were these two
stands. They were out about a quarter-mile from each other, along
different parts of the same road, with one on the honor system
for purchases and the other just giving stuff away. Curious the
difference, but not in any way that would make you think all that
much about it.
weeks after this happened, we drove by signs announcing a yard
sale. Going to be two long days at the house. 7am starts were
advertised. Furniture and tools and sporting equipment and clothing
and more. Big yard sale with lots of everything. Weather forecast
was looking good for their event.
reasons I’d prefer to forget (and completely unassociated with
the yard sale), Terry and I were awake before sunrise on the morning
of the great event. In fact, we were awake, showered, in the car
and moving along just before 6am. We passed the yard sale house,
where some assorted activities were going on ahead of the start
a quarter-mile later we spotted what appeared to be furniture.
In fact, it was furniture. And some sporting equipment. And a
few tables upon which clothes had been spread out. Taped to the
tables were a signs: Free to good homes.
may or may not be surprised to find out the yard sale and furniture
giveaway houses were the exact same residences as the vegetable
stand houses I mentioned earlier. May or may not be surprised
to additionally find out that the yard sale house matches up with
the vegetables for sale house, and the free items for the taking
house matches up with the free vegetables house. And you may also,
as did Terry and I, begin checking off some imaginary boxes as
you raise an eyebrow in curiosity about the possible existence
of a backstory between the occupants of the houses.
and I have a guy. You get the idea, someone we can call and rely
on when we have assorted stuff around the house that needs to
get done. When you need something repaired or built or the assistance
of a jack-of-multiple-trades, you call the guy.
guy has become a trusted friend over the past few years. I always
make sure I have a couple of cold beers in the fridge, as he will
every so often call about stopping just to catch up. (I know…
cold beers? Just how reliable and trusted is this specific guy?
morning quite soon after we had moved in to our new home, we woke
up during the night and discovered we had furnace problems. The
temperatures outside were solidly above freezing and it was a
Sunday morning. So, it was an emergency, but not a get-here-NOW
emergency with a great deal of panic and frantic calls and a willingness
to pay large extra fees for an after-hours weekend service visit.
We decided to reach out to our guy for advice.
didn’t want to wake him up at 4:30am, but knew he often had things
going on and didn’t want to miss him since we were hoping to have
someone over as soon as we could on Monday. I sent a text saying
our furnace was out, we didn’t know who to call, and asked if
he could call us as soon as was convenient for him with a thought
ten minutes I got a reply text asking if we were awake and ready
for company. Twenty minutes later I was opening our door for him.
He was headed out hunting, didn’t want to be worried about us
all morning, and had messaged us back hoping he could stop by
right away and still get out to the woods before it had been daylight
for too long. The furnace was running by 6am, he told us it still
needed to be cleaned and gave us the name and number of who to
call for that, and said he was heading for the woods (which he
did with a dry sense of humor that we’ve come to appreciate that
included asking if we thought we could we would be able to leave
him alone for the rest of the day). The cost? He asked if I had
ten bucks because he wanted to grab a cup of coffee and a donut.
5am on a Sunday morning… addressing a furnace problem… $10. AND
he’s a nice guy that does good work. I’m guessing you’re not stunned
now as we revisit that comment about my keeping our fridge supplied
with some of his favorite beer.
we have a guy.
of days ago my phone rang. It was him. His afternoon had freed
up and he had been thinking about a project we had been discussing
that wasn’t in any way urgent and we had been putting off. Was
wondering if he could check a couple of things out. He arrived,
some puttering in the yard was done, then chairs were found at
the table and a couple of beers appeared. As the conversation
revolved around the new and exciting, I happened to mention vegetables
and yard sales and furniture at the end of driveways.
managed to catch himself before spitting a mouthful of beer and
he already knew the answer, he asked about the two houses. He
did indeed properly identify them both. Turned out there did just
so happen to be a bit of history there, and he entertained me
with the details about a land sale agreement that got twisted
once a third party and more money became involved. Seems that
the free vegetables and furniture for a good home house was quite
fond of taking subtle swipes when they could.
wonder what’s happening along the streets and in the houses in
the area around where you live? Chances are good, there’s more
than a few really good stories. In order to be sure though, instead
of looking for gossip and rumors, it always helps to have a guy.