Love your neighbor as yourself

Here’s three short stories from my life this past week…

On the gardening front…

I texted my  neighbor Mark on Friday : “Next time you are hauling manure, would you mind dropping off one or two bucket loads? … whatever $25 would buy.”

(I’m planning ahead for next seasons garden and fall is the perfect time to apply manure.)

He wrote back, “OK  Yea, how about $0?”

I am still savoring Mark’s generosity.


On the honeybee front…

My bee mentor has been managing bees for about 40 years.  His name is Curt.  When I checked on our two hives earlier in the week, I wasn’t sure what I was seeing.  It looked like  capped brood (that’s up and coming new honey bees) above the queen excluder and a dark uncapped substance lower in the bowels of the hive.  I was concerned I may have some nasty  disease getting a foothold in the hive.  The excluder is a screen that (in theory) prevents the queen from  going where you don’t want her to go.  Normally, queens are slightly bigger than her smaller worker bees and she can’t squeeze through, although once in a while, it happens.  There is just so much I can learn via the internet or a phone call.  What I really needed was someone who knew what they were looking at to make a house call.  Texted Curt, Next day we set up a time for him to stop.  He manages a 120 hives of his own, and I didn’t feel right about having him stop without compensating him something, so I addressed it right up front.   All he asked for was a few yellow apples when I start picking.

I was SO appreciative of his generosity of time.  I’ve mentioned it before but Curt is the perfect mentor.  He doesn’t come across like a know it all. He asks great questions and doesn’t feel like he’s in a rush when he’s here.


And finally on the construction job front.

I’ve been  framing walls on a commercial project the past month.  Couple of weeks ago, the electricians were “trying” to pull their main wires through some buried conduit.  There were two of them (Brian and Joe), and  Joe was having a heck of a time.  Joe didn’t ask, but  I stopped what I was doing and grabbed onto the pulley rope with him.  Couple of big tugs later and the first wire was through.   He really  appreciated it. He told me that final joint at the end is always a bugger.  He had one more wire to pull, and It turned out to be even tougher. The two of us, side by, side, both covered with sweat, pulling with everything we had.  I’m not an electrician, and it wasn’t my responsibility but  he needed a hand.  I didn’t do it for any other reason than that is how I was raised.

Met Fred (the owner) of the electrical company later in the week.  Introduced myself and told him how much I enjoyed working with his guys.  (There have been other random interactions throughout the week. besides me helping pull wire.)  On Thursday I asked Brian if need be, could I borrow one of their scissor lifts to install a handful of hangers?  (Ours was going back to the rental store the first of next week.) Absolutely he said.  He showed me where they hide the key in case their crew were not around.

On Friday Brian told me they had their weekly shop meeting  and was told not to hide the key on the lift.  Fred the owner told Brian to “give Doug the combination to the job trailer, s where I could find  the key for the lift.”

I was humbled by their trust.


I had a great encounter @ the Lowes customer service desk this week as well.  This post is getting long enough, so I’ll save that story for another time.  How about you?  Any good encounters lately that left you encouraged?  I would love to hear about it, and I love details 🙂 DM


23 thoughts on “Love your neighbor as yourself

  1. Hi,
    Really enjoyed this post !
    No recent acts of random generosity that I can think to share, more coworkers are telling me “how busy they are” and decline helping with work projects or committee duties. Friends are answering texts from me hours or even days later.But then…

    My parents, close to their eighty’s, I needed them to be at my home due to an area out back in which the sprinklers just wouldn’t stop ( a reclaimed water system setup). They, they are ROCKSTARS, as they have always been. They paid the bill and refused to let me repay them back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it. Loved hearing about your mom and dad helping out. I totally get it. I’m in my early 60’s and still appreciate it when my mom slips me a little extra $ (like yesterday) when I gave her some eggs and newly picked apples… We’re still their child. Glad your parents are still close and able to help you out!


    • Good to hear from you Di. Read your post earlier this week about the knuckle heads you encountered @ your local grocery store. Makes a person glad everybody isn’t like that. Take care. DM


          • Ha! I bet there are a few that term time can’t come soon enough!
            It’s Bank Holiday weekend here, the last in the UK before Christmas. With school holidays as well (kids go back in a couple of weeks) visitors are taking advantage of holiday chalets, flats and caravans, not to mention those with camper vans or touring caravans for the holiday sites here.
            Still, that is the trouble with living on the coast close to several holiday resorts. We have a Butlins complex 15 miles away.


  2. Well, I do believe we reap what we sow… and you’re enjoying reaping the benefits of YOUR past kindnesses, of that I have no doubt. Lean in and savor!

    I had a decent week, and a troubling incident yesterday with a really aggressive woman that I had to put in her place (literally and figuratively). It’s still weighing on me … that aspect of humanity that picks at you till you’re raw and then when you react YOU’RE the jerk. Ugh.

    I enjoyed this post, thank you! MJ

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, hard to believe it’s been a week already since this (and other comments) How did this week go for you MJ? I had my own energy sucking encounter this past week. Still processing it, and to be honest, will probably not write about it. Just too convoluted. Take care. DM


  3. Well don’t leave us hanging…..what about the bees? 😁
    Bruce and I are ‘helper’ people….we refuse to take payment – it doesn’t feel right. I got wind of the neighbors tractor broken down (was a head gasket) They absolutely can’t be without it (they’re older) nor could they afford six thousand to fix it. Bruce fixed it….worked out a cash deal between them and the machine shop guy to fix the head ….. the fact that they were able to seed a field, and will be able to plow snow – well that’s what makes us happy. It’s a ‘pay it forward’ mentality – we’ve had nice things done for us so….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning Val…finally getting back to the blog and replying to these comments… (been a full week) Bees turned out to be doing amazingly well. The dark liquid was probably uncapped sugar water, and the other stuff I was seeing was in fact healthy brood, above the queen excluder. I think this young lady has done this before (lay eggs above it) Apparently she’s a small but prolific queen. I will miss her when she’s gone. Love the account of how you all worked together to help the older couple in their time of financial need. That sounds exactly what life used to be about here in farm country..neighbors helping neighbors, plant, harvest, etc. when one of them got sick. Take care. DM

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These are great stories Doug! I’ve got nothing recent to share on my end, but you made me feel happy knowing that kindness still exists in this world and that you both gave and received some of that kindness 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning Deb. Good to hear from you. Glad those little stories encouraged you…I really do try to pay attention in life, cherishing the good and not taking it for granted. Had an energy sucking not so good experience earlier in the week, which just goes to show, better not take anything for granted. Later. DM

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We know from bitter experience, “No good deed goes unpunished”.
    Once we gifted our time freely but it always ended up the same.
    Some people took advantage.

    One word stopped that, “NO”.
    Word went around like wildfire and we immediately lost a few “friends” aka losers.

    It’s not good to be thinking “what are they after” when someone is nice but once a gift is abused, the owner of that gift is right to be ever cautious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s all about boundaries…I hear you Paul… I sense you and Di, do a good job figuring out how to keep that balance (between helping where it is genuinely appreciated and those that don’t,

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We recently got involved in a cycling team for my boy. Liam is bike crazy and really talented. Can stay balanced on the pedals with the bike barely moving, ride down stairs, ride while standing on the top tube of the bike, etc. He just turned eight.
    The team is split into older (late middle school thru high school, about 10 of em) and younger (generally early elementary school kids, 4 kids) groups. They had an intensive cyclocross (dirt/gravel) skills camp this past weekend, both days. The older kids show up ready to rock, super fit and talented. Fast, regional – some national level kids. They’re all kitted out in spandex, sleek helmets, clip in bike shoes, and each with $2,500 plus bikes. Their families know how to spend cash. My boy showed up in worn out tennis shoes, mismatched socks, a t-shirt and a $400 (cheap, to the bike world) bike.
    At one point during the weekend, the older and younger kids were pulled together for a short time trial course run. 2 laps in under a minute, but the course was technical and curvy. Liam was actually first, and set a decent time of 53s. Everybody clapped and cheered at his time. The older kids all went next, with times from 42s to 49s. When my boy went again, I overhead one of the older kids say, “he’s taking those turns smoother than I did!” The others agreed. They clapped and cheered like they did for one of their group, and high-fived him coming back in after the run, even though it was slower than his first run.
    I was floored by the acceptance and support of this quiet, shy, ragtag kid, from the lofty levels of those talented, well equipped kids. My boy had basically avoided the older kids due to being shy and unsure, so these weren’t “friends”. Yet. And even though the big kids are super talented and winning races, and they come from affluence, they’re still humble. They got some home trainin’.
    It sure made Liam feel good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • that is a great story Scott! Appreciate you taking the time to share it. My granddaughter and her dad have taken up mountain biking this summer.. Different sport I’m sure but can still be uber expensive. Our son in law is a coach/ mentor and told us this past visit, he was surprising one of the boys in the group with a refurnished bike he’d outgrown. the kid had been borrowing someone’s bike, now he will have his own. Kindness and good will is still very much alive and well, sounds like it in your corner of the world as well. Take care. DM


      • Great he can give another kid his own bike. That’ll be great. We are actually bigger into mountain biking, and ride some rough horse trails around here a bunch. It’s a heck of a workout… I’ve lost about 15 lbs since earlier this summer between eating a shade less and keeping up with the boy on the bike lol. Works for me!

        Liked by 1 person

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