We recently had a tragedy in the neighborhood. Our link to the main road was blocked by an overturned propane truck and a neighbor needed/wanted to get home so he walked. It was only a couple of miles and he got about half way, suffered some medical issue and died in the road. His wife was frantically calling his phone. She didn't know anybody else to call and nobody knew how to contact her.
Some of us aren't the most gregarious people in the world but it reminded me that sometimes, just knowing a name and a phone number is a big deal. My wife had put out a message to people who wanted to walk in through a back way that we would pick them up but it didn't reach the deceased. As his wife said, "I don't know anybody in here. I depended on him."
In this case, I don't know that even if he had gotten a ride the medical issue wouldn't have gotten him another time. Maybe, maybe not but his wife suffered through some hours of fearing the worst because she was not known in the neighborhood.
This is a rural area but close enough for people to work in the DC area. People bring city/suburban attitudes of not caring about your neighbors to a place where city services aren't available so we depend on each other. Sometimes the results are tragic. I wish anyone in a suburb/city would understand the culture of a rural area before moving into one. A) emergency services are slower to respond- plan accordingly. An ambulance or fire truck can't be at your door in five minutes- it may be 15 minutes or more. B) if the road is blocked by a tree or debris it's going to be quicker if you clean it up yourself. Yes, someone else will eventually get there but probably not in a hurry; C) The power will go out and it may be hours or days before it's repaired. Better have heat and a way to cook food. Nope, your refrigerator won't work without juice and stuff goes bad if you open the frig door every 20 minutes to see if it's too warm. D) Don't piss off your neighbor, you may need them to call 911, perform CPR or plow your street when it snows. (I wouldn't withhold medical assistance for a bad neighbor but certainly have left their street unplowed because I figured if I plowed it I would get sued if a single rock was displaced.)
E) Giving your name and phone number to a neighbor isn't an invitation for them to call every five minutes. Think of it as a part of an emergency plan. People who want to gossip about you are going to do so anyway only they will call you the girl on the corner or the guy in the old red Silverado. Most people don't care what you are doing unless it impacts them in some way. F) The golden rule really does apply in a rural area. Be nice, help others out and they will help you. Stay totally to yourself and you may be totally alone just when you need someone, anyone to answer a call for help.
I'm thankful for each of the fine people on GTT. I know y'all are all good neighbors and certainly willing to help others on line and in your neighborhood, but we are literally all over the world so as much as I like you I probably can't help you much in your neighborhood nor can you help me. I guess I've got a few more neighbors to meet.