Good neighbors are a treasure. Great neighbors are a treasure beyond measure. Our corner of Davidson has great neighbors. Good neighbors are people whom you can have over to dinner, people who care about your family news and your travels. We have those and dined with a neighbor couple just Sunday night. Great neighbors step up and help without asking, and cheerfully tackle the big jobs, the life crisis, the wearying litany of small but constantly grinding problems.
Yesterday we met some great neighbors. The Cedars Davidson is blessed with a large number of truly huge oak trees. We have been diligent at having these trees inspected and tended to by professional certified arborists. Notwithstanding, yesterday, a branch as big as my torso detached without warning from the trunk of one of our largest trees and, with a shriek, fell to the ground. It didn’t hit anyone or anything—not our sign, not the power lines, not the house and not other trees. That in itself was miraculous. But we still had a huge branch and all of its subsidiary branches, twigs and leaves sitting in our front lawn, blocking the sidewalk. That was the scene when Jack pulled up in his pickup. He lives a few houses up Concord Rd. toward town. He saw the whole thing, he said, and asked, no politely demanded that he be allowed to cut the tree up and stack the debris at the street, to be picked up the next day by the Town. He left and returned with his wife Theresa, his chain saw and his chaps. I went to the shed and retrieved my chain saw and ear protectors. Another neighbor came running over. She had seen the limb drop from her side of the street and was eager to help. A rainstorm brewed up and the almost longest day of the year grew shorter, but we labored on. And then, we were done. My neighbors waved off offers of beer and recompense and Sue and I were left in awe of our great neighbors.