The Kindness of Neighbors

We live in the woods of northern NH. The kindness of our neighbors continues to amaze me. A couple of weeks ago it was 26 degrees below zero (F). Our car died on the side of the road. Almost immediately someone stopped and gave us a ride up the road to borrow a car. Later that day, as I was driving to return a tow rope he loaned us, our other car died too. I walked to the nearest house to use the phone, and they offered to give me a ride home. It was a pretty bad day for our cars, but it was an amazing day for generosity.
Just now, I heard a motor running outdoors. I thought it was Lynne’s car, since she was getting ready to run some errands. Turns out it was our neighbor – snowblowing our driveway!! Our driveway is about 600 or 700 feet long. When big snowstorms hit our other neighbor plows us out, in return for tapping our maple trees to get sap and make maple syrup, which he sells for a cash income. But plowing doesn’t always leave the driveway wide enough, and so we’ve thought about buying a snowblower to trim up along the edges. Apparently, our neighbor is just out snowblowing for the fun of it, going up and down the street helping out. Just amazing.
And I think: What can I offer in return? Not in direct exchange, but what do I offer in general? Free Wi-Fi for the neighborhood? Business startup consulting? It hardly seems valuable, compared to getting a lift when it’s cold enough to break metal, or keeping your driveway wide enough so you don’t get snowed in later in the winter. While I work in the larger world, trying to foster cooperation among coops, etc., when the chips are down I still rely on extremely local assistance.
We are graced to live in such a beautiful and cooperative area.