Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sorry Isn't Really the Hardest Word

Today I forced myself to finally do it. Although more than a year had past, I stood on the sticky linoleum floor in my kitchen, fidgeting and fingering the rubber keys on the cordless phone, my palms sweating with nerves. On my way back in from bringing up the now-empty trash barrels  I thought I caught a glimpse of goats, so here was my in. It was time to call my neighbors and introduce myself.
We moved here a year ago this past May and, as I was unpacking one day before work, a sweet lady had dropped by with a small blue basket filled with handmade love: two dish scrubbers, a jar each of applesauce and strawberry jam, a dishcloth and the one store-bought item, a jar of peanut butter. Attached to the basket was a note encouraging us to call if we needed help finding anything as we settled in. It was a kindness I'd never really thanked them for but one that did not go unappreciated as I spent those afternoons last year painting and smacking on those labors of love.
I punched in the numbers on the note that'd been hanging on my fridge for a year as I gathered both my courage and something passing as a suitable excuse to call. "May I speak to Diane please?" I asked when someone picked up and said that word I find the most difficult sometimes to say. After that same sweet lady came to the phone, I introduced myself and asked to come and see the goats, which she said I could do. So I trudged across the yard, wringing my garden gloves in my hands, fearful I'd never know what to say.
Instead I found myself standing in the warm summer sun with Diane and her two daughters, Anna and Abbie, talking about all manner of livestock, our gardens, my future chickens and our own plans for goats. I finally got a chance to properly say thank you, was invited anytime for coffee or crafts and might just have made a friend. After several minutes chatting I excused myself to start my weeding and thanked her again for her thoughtful gift, inviting the girls to come and meet my daughter and them inviting us to meet the animals.
I'm so glad I took a chance today and said that word, the hardest of all for shy suburban folks like us new to all these country customs. Sometimes great things come out of small risks, even if it takes a year to muster up the courage.

1 comment:

  1. Took me over a year to talk to some of my neighbors.Glad I finally did!