Suffield Observations

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Andy Sauer

Like all debacles, it started with good intentions. We have a big yard. After the wet summer, mowing it became an ordeal. The lawn simply grew too quickly to keep up with it, and I let parts of the property go. In early October, grass growth slowed down, and I thought I’d mow a path through a neglected section so my wife could enjoy a tick-free stroll.

We have a small, wooded section that leads to an open area. As I wound through the trees, I realized the normally dry section was wet. I put the mower in reverse. The wheels spun. I put it into drive, no traction. The mower was stuck. After exhausting every possibility at my disposal, I realized I needed to pull the mower out. I drove my Honda Pilot into the trees and promptly got it stuck axle-deep in the mud.

The situation was desperate, and it was time to get help. Several of my neighbors own tractors. I went to one; he was out. I went to another; no one home. There was one more neighbor to whom I could beg for help.

It looked like no one was home. I knocked on the door. My neighbor answered, and she said that she and her husband were resting because they had just spent the day freeing their tractor from the mud. I told her my predicament, and she and her husband came to the rescue.

It wasn’t easy. It was getting dark, and the car was buried so deep that it was hard to find something on which to latch the chain. Eventually the chain took hold, and the car broke free. I drove it to solid ground and ran back to the mud pit. By the time I got there, my neighbors had driven their tractor deeper into the trees and latched the chain to the mower. It took less than a minute to release it.

Right away, I offered to pay them for their help, but they would have none of it. They were glad they could help.

About 10 years ago, I wrote about a friend’s wife whose mower died in the middle of a busy road in front of her neighbors who never bothered to put down their beers to help her out. “What ever happened to the days when neighbors looked after each other?” he asked at the time.

They’re still around. Some may be out and about (or not able to help out), but all you need is one good neighbor to make a difference.

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