Thursday, June 20, 2013

When a Neighbor is More Than Just the Person Who Lives Down the Road

Last week a group of six tornadoes went through my neighborhood.  Luckily for my family and I, the tornadoes were not on the ground as they went over our house, but for some of our neighbors, they weren't as fortunate.

A picture that I took of one of the tornadoes that went by our home
(Don't worry, right after I took the photo I took everyone to the
basement for shelter for the duration of the storms)
Right after the storm had passed through, My Farmer hopped into his pick-up to check on his parents, our hogs and our new house to make sure everyone and everything was alright.  But as he was making his way to check on everything, he noticed trees across the road at our neighbors.  He drove over to find destruction everywhere.  He talked to the family to make sure they were okay and then looked around to see how he could help.  The night of the storm, My Farmer, along with other neighbors who made similar trips after the storm to check on things, all merged on our neighbor's place and got to work.  First thing that night was to board up the home.  Second thing done, plans were made for people to take time away from the fields the next day to help with clean-up.

A view of some of the damage the day after the tornadoes.
Our neighbors had trees uprooted, out buildings destroyed,
windows shattered and personal belonging thrown around the entire farm.
Neighbors brought over equipment to help with the clean-up
I couldn't help with the actual clean-up with two kids age two and under
but I could help with lunch for the work crew!
And the best part of helping with lunch, I had friends give me food
to help with lunch after they had heard what happened
Last week I was so proud of my community.  None of these people were asked, paid or told to come and help these neighbors in need.  Work and help was needed and everyone felt it was their job to come and work and help.  

Last week's events made me think of another time that my community came together to help a neighbor in need.  In 2011 one of our neighbors passed away in a car accident.  When it came time for his fields to be harvested, farmers from the entire neighborhood took a day off of harvesting their own fields to help this family in need.

Combine and catch carts at work in a field
Three combines working on the same field
A line-up of the combines and tractors used to help with the harvest
Neighbors that came to help a neighbor
Once again, why did these neighbors come together to help another neighbor in need?  Call it "Midwest Values" or being an Iowan, but everyone wanted to be there to help.  There was work that needed to be done and no one was just going to wait for someone or some government group to come and do the work.

I am so proud of my neighborhood and community.  We are always there for each other.  We truly care about each other and show concern for one another.  I realize that everyone in this world is not as fortunate as I am to have this sense of community or neighbors.  Some only get this feeling of support from family.  So I guess you could say I have two families - my biological relatives and my neighbors.  (And you know you are from the rural Midwest when you consider a person who lives many miles away still a neighbor...)

What makes you proud of your community or neighborhood?


  1. I'm glad you were able to go help the neighbor out...that's just what we do in small towns! Our neighbor is elderly and we feed her horses, mow her ditches, and basically anything else she needs. It's always nice to see people coming together to help one another :)

    1. I couldn't agree more! It is one of the best things about living in small towns.

  2. I think it is a small town, old-fashioned kinda thing. I do not see it as much in the city or suburbs. When it happens with us the person we help says something like "you didn't have to do that" which we always reply with "you would do the same for us".

  3. I love this post! My neighborhood is of mostly retired folks and just yesterday one of them walked over and gave us a kids swimming pool and some other things that their grand kids have outgrown. It is such a blessing and makes me feel similar to how you feel - proud to be in a neighborhood that takes the time to notice and care. Our church has been advocating for us to Be Good Neighbors and reach outside of ourselves more often. I can honestly say, its been one of the most rewarding things we've done as a family!

  4. This is really something to be proud of. It’s great that people took time off the field to help with the affected neighbors, despite worries over the conditions that the tornado left. Here’s to good people and a healthy community. Cheers!

    Lino @ Arrys Roofing

  5. Thanks for all the comments! It sounds like we all are proud of our communities and neighborhoods!

  6. It was up the road from us ... I called my siste rand was yelling at her to get in her basement. she was yelling at me to get in my basement. LOL... The sense of community is one of the reasons I love living here ....

    1. Not everyone gets a sense of community where they live. Looks like we're both happy to live where we do and have a community that supports one another.

  7. Wow. They seem to have done all the work that would take hired hands to do in a week in just a day or two. Just goes to show what a community can do when they put their minds to it.

    The golden rule definitely applies in tight-knit communities. But more so is the compassion to help neighbors in their time of need. That’s something you don’t often see in the city, and it makes going home from time to time that much lovelier.


    1. I've always believed that when a disaster strikes, Midwesterners can get things done quick and well.