Sharing the Work

One of the best things about living in a rural area is sharing time, tools and more with neighbors to help everyone get things done.┬áThere’s something lovely about being able to loan each other tools and equipment. We help each other with physical labor, and offer seeds and flowers for planting. One particularly fun gesture was when our neighbors offered us some servings of the pork roast they’d been cooking all day. We reciprocated with some grilled zucchini. It made for an amazing dinner for everyone.

Sharing – Neighbors Helping Neighbors

I work in the city and my co-workers are amazed that this is how we live down in the country. They can’t imagine going to their neighbors for a cup of sugar, let alone working on building, landscaping or gardening as a team. I think this is one of the joys of rural living. I also think having a lower income contributes significantly to our happiness. That sounds weird, I guess. I’m sure plenty of high-income people are happy, though I’ve noticed many fret about money and overextend themselves financially.

We live happily within our means and don’t feel like we’re missing anything. A warm summer day fishing in the pond in our backyard is far more valuable than a visit to an upscale restaurant. To us, anyway. Even more valuable is that exchange of energy between us and our neighbors as we work on our land. Our workshop wasn’t a one- or two-person job. It has taken at least two people at most times. There were parts that took up to four people, to make it happen.

Just as communities once depended on cooperation for everyone to thrive, we still do here in the country. It may not always be as blatant as an exchange of labor or food, as it was back then. But it’s still all about those basic human needs.

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