One of our favorite features of our Camas home in the country (besides the view) is the privacy. We don’t have neighbors looking over our back yard or parked out front. There is a lot of room between homes up here, and it provides a serene sense of calm.
On the other hand, it is nice to interact with our neighbors. If we’re out working in the yard and we see someone out in their field, we’ll sometimes stop by the fence line just to chat and catch up on what’s happening in their lives. It’s a nice break from work, and we’ve gotten to know some very nice people that way.
One neighbor in particular – Brian – has always been very friendly, but polite and reserved. We never worry about him dropping in on us unannounced or being intrusive. He’s our favorite “fence chatter” neighbor.
So it was surprising the other day when the door bell rang, and I opened to see Brian standing there. He had a wooden bowl in his hand – I didn’t recognize it as ours. So I asked if one of his dogs might have found it and brought it home to him. Instead, he handed me the bowl and said “Here, I just made this.” A solid applewood bowl, fresh off the lathe in his woodworking studio. “Hand polished with food-grade oil, so you can use it right away!” he added.
“Wow”, I said, not knowing what else to say. “This is beautiful.”
He shrugged, “I’m also turning some candlesticks out of maple blocks for the neighbors up above.” He quietly left, heading towards the fence.
“Thank you” I called to him, and he just waved. His neighborly act was complete – his handcrafted gift a pleasant surprise that made my day. They say “fences make good neighbors”, but I would add – “especially if you stop and chat awhile!”