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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.

Treefarmer
 

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I can relate. We have no neighbors. There are people who live within about 3/4 mile but don’t know them.

Ambulance or fire is a 20 minute response time on good roads. But if the power is out there is no phone or internet - no cell service here. So we depend on ourselves. But this is becoming an issue because my wife is ill and can’t drive anymore and could never walk as far as the nearest house. In a scenario where something would happen to me at home, and the power was out, I guess there would be no rescue for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Might want to meet the neighbors

I can relate. We have no neighbors. There are people who live within about 3/4 mile but don’t know them.

Ambulance or fire is a 20 minute response time on good roads. But if the power is out there is no phone or internet - no cell service here. So we depend on ourselves. But this is becoming an issue because my wife is ill and can’t drive anymore and could never walk as far as the nearest house. In a scenario where something would happen to me at home, and the power was out, I guess there would be no rescue for me.
Sometime you might want to meet the neighbors. Maybe your wife could fire three shots and they could hear them. . .

Treefarmer
 

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We are also on a rural road with space between neighbors, been here 25+ years. We do know the nearest 6 or so houses and have a cooperative relationship with them for the weather and aid issues you mentioned. There has been some turnover in recent years as folks have aged and passed on or moved to more age appropriate housing so we have turned into the "old" folks in the neighborhood.

It is funny how some urbanites have no idea how things work in their new home.....what do you mean our well won't provide water when there is no electric....... we'll have to pump out what, where do we put it and won't that smell??!! :lolol:
 

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TreeFarmer--it's about the same way here anymore. 40 yrs ago here u could hunt almost on anyones land IF U ASKED FIRST. until someone won a court battle of being sued about a hunting accident on their property. then the no hunting signs sprang up overnight --most of them was for strangers--if u asked neighboring farmers, and new where his cows was at--we was able to still hunt--but each yr, fewer and fewer left people hunt. now the last few yrs--its stay off my land.

as far as knowing my neighbors--i know most of them, as i live in a rural area also. nearest little town is roughly 5 miles away, has a bank, little store, a couple bars, a dollar store:laugh: aw-yeah one red light in it too.

i used to 20 yrs ago know just about everyone-but when i started working for the last trucking company down east, i was gone all week, home for maybe 2 days-so i soon lost track of people moving around. then we moved here--9 miles away:laugh:

seemed like a world back then. course then my one uncle passed away-my aunt has been staying with her sister 30 some miles away, so seldom i get to see her-maybe a couple times thru the summer is all.

i know first hand about living rural area-as i needed a ambulance at 2am, 5 and half yrs ago. no one from our little town wanted to come out at that time i guess(they had been having trouble with people not wanting bothered at night) i called back to 911 and told that lady the wife was taking me to the pital. i told her i was gonna lay in the back of my pickup--i had a 4 door chevy-plus the bed-but in my haste i forgot to explain that to the operator of 911---she said no-no-i have another company coming for u--i said cancel them-it had been like an hr already-pain was pretty good shape then. i took a lot of different meds to make it quit:laugh: afterwards i figured she thought i was gonna lay down in the bed of the pickup.:unknown:
only 2 people came, a older lady who was driving, and a small person like gizmo2-:mocking: she insisted i lay on the liter inside the house, wheeled me out to sidewalk-then she said i can't help lift u in--:unknown:i wanted up off of liter, but nope-won't let me off. so the wife hleped lift me in ambulance--boy was i mad. claimed once a patient was on-u had to stay on it:banghead:

rural living ain't what it used to be for sure nowadays. sorry ur neighbor had to pass away-treefarmer.
 

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Thanks for the reminder. You're a good man. It sure would be nice to have neighbors like yourself. I'm sorry to hear of the tragic incident. I hope your neighbor is able to cope with her loss.

I'm lucky to have a great neighborhood. We are fairly tight here and look out for each other. We even have block parties twice a year. It's really good.
 

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Know most of my neighbors. Rural here also. Neighbors north of me are family and north of Them I know a couple. South of me (1/4 mile) just meet them this summer as they are new and som was riding quad in one of our hayfields. Not a good way to meet them but we’re good now. Across road, know them well. Across road to the south I haven’t meet them yet as they are fairly new and their house sit way off the road also. Know most farmers farther out from me also.
 

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Reading this makes me think back when this countries culture was much different!!!!!

As kids, we used to figure out how to make a baseball field since there wasn't organized teams. We had to be creative!

We used to ride our bikes everywhere within a reasonable distance because no one even considered that anyone would shoot anyone, and we all had guns, or some pervert would kidnap a kid.

We used to carry our hunting rifle to school because we were going to go hunting after school and no one ever thought about shooting someone else.

We used to make gun custom made guns in shop class in school.

So, WHAT CHANGED!!!!!

There has been an agenda in this country to change thinking for many, many, many years. This subtle approach has been in our schools and colleges for years and now this movement has successfully changed the thinking of a generation of people.

So, populated areas have steadily been gone further and further off the deep end so somewhat reasonable thinking people have been leaving the cities for years. So, this urban culture has been creeping into more rural areas. In the past, the rural areas are now called the suburbs. Now the suburbs are going off the deep end and the cities are totally gone, so now the suburban people that are somewhat reasonable thinking are moving into the more rural areas. So, even our rural schools are now run by city and federal government programs that are influenced by urban thought.

If you think you can bring there here, and here will not change to look like there, you are fulled!! Anyone that is in their 50's has seen this subtle shift of culture over years of time.

I say, effectively, this thought process has changed the thinking of even good people.

Benjamin Franklin, a US Founding Father said.....
The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

"A republic, If you can keep it" was an interesting answer that Benjamin Franklin gave this lady.

One of the subtle things that are modern thinking has done is, even when they quote Benjamin Franklin, many modern reporters and teachers say Franklin's quote was "A democracy, if you can keep it". He did not say democracy, he said republic, there is a huge difference!!


Effectively, our schools and colleges have changed the teachings of our countries founding to cause, now a generation, to have no idea what principles this country was founded on. This change of thinking has caused, even good people, to not have an understanding of our nations founding principles. This un-moored thinking allows for decisions to be made based on emotion rather than being based on principles of our founding.

So, we now have millions of people in this country who look to the government to make all decisions; provide all assistance; give direction for everything; make laws that control every behavor; and I could go on an on.

So, we wonder how we got here!! We are loosing our republic.
 

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Great post Treefarmer, thank you.

We too are lucky to have great neighbors and I am sure they would go above and beyond if necessary. My wife and I were working up to the horse barn one day and my neighbor came racing up to tell us that something was very wrong with Madie (our beagle). Madie suffered from seizures and was having one in our yard, this was the first time he had ever seen this happen, we knew about them and there is honestly not much you can do. But the thought that he came running up to get us was comforting to say the least.
 

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To a point I can relate we only have a 5 person Police Department 1 Chief, 3 Patrol officers & 1 clerk and the rest of city Hall only works 4hrs, 4 day a week But were within 10 miles of a Hospital. Well Fire is dependent of other towns because the act to fund the Fire for our rural area didn't Pass. But I can say at least since September I Know many In this rural sub division or 2 to 5 acre Lots Because I am the Treasurer for our association. I get the streets Plowed and Maintain the 4 Roads and Give approval for additions, fences ect & collect the fees Because the other members of the Board are almost non existent for there duties. I now know why every one resigns from Treasurer every 3 years Because I will be doing the same in 3 years.

The Last Place I lived was even More Rural But I knew My 3 Immediate Neighbors. 1 Neighbor I knew Because I Bought 5.5 acre of his Farm in 1983(his Parents Old Place). So his Place Practically surrounded My Place and he lived across the road. But yes it's a good thing to know Your Neighbors.

I grew Up In the Western Suburbs of Chicago and the mentality of not knowing your neighbors was actually uncommon there. Now Chicago that was common But not the Burbs or at least were I grew up
Because for the Longest time In that subdivision we Had no Police(county Sheriffs Police would not even Patrol the Place), Fire or any services and you were dependent of Your Neighbors for Just about everything.

Were I Live Now though has more of that I don't know My neighbors mentality. But that might be do to the Fact some of the Hollywood elite live Here when there Not filming. There the Neighbors who Tax our Police to the Limit Calling to report a suspicious vehicle and it turns out to be there Neighbor:banghead:

But the wife always wanted to live here so I shut My mouth :bigthumb:
 

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I make it a point to meet every neighbor and have their contact information and for them to have our contact information. It's not being pushy or nosy, it can be a matter of survival. I have put together a list of each neighbor, their name, address and phone numbers. I ask them to include email contact information and they all do. There is an optional place for them to list their kids names and ages and their pet's names and descriptions and everyone has put down the information.

It's complied on two sheets of paper and printed out alphabetically and also in address order, in case the people don't know their neighbors names, but know their address. Then they can look up their neighbors using either the names or their address. In fact, just this past Saturday, I passed out an update sheet so people can note any changes and I will have a new list for January 1 to provide everyone.

It's made clear that this is NOT to be used to market anything and that the information on this sheet is not to be given to others who are not immediate neighbors. We have had no issues with anyone "abusing" this information in nearly 20 years. I did have neighbors who are on our dead end county road, but don't live in our actual neighborhood, ask to be included in this list, but listed in a separate category on the sheet so the neighbors can contact one another if they need to.

Just yesterday I gave a neighbor lady and her two kids a ride to the repair shop to pick up her car which had a problem the night before. She called and asked if my wife or I could give her a ride to the shop so of course we would. Someone from her work was supposed to help her but backed out for some reason. I had picked her up at the car repair place late the afternoon before when she had to drop off her car. She was on her way home and her car was overheating so she stopped at the shop and needed a ride from there. I got her home and then she used her husbands car to pick up the kids, etc.

She didn't really know anyone else in the neighborhood (yet, but I will introduce her family to others in our neighborhood with kids about the same age if they want to meet them and she has indicated they would like to meet others..) and is an immigrant to our great nation. I dropped her off and ran some errands and when I got home, she called and wanted to know if she could stop by and drop off something. She brought an apple pie and a $50 gift certificate to our favorite local little family owned restaurant. Her kids had selected a toy for each of our K9 kids, which was nice. She didn't need to do this but I appreciate the fact that she appreciated my help.

Earlier this week, or was it last Friday, I made the arrangements and helped another neighbor get the rear brakes on her SUV repaired. Her husband was also traveling and her right rear brake rotor was metal to metal. She called me from work and said her truck was making a strange noise. When I walked over there when she got home, the brake was in desperate shape and needed repair immediately. She was uncomfortable dealing with it as she knows nothing about it and asked if I would help her. Of course. I made several calls and in the end, picked her up at the repair garage and then later the same day, dropped her off to pick her truck back up. She was the one who had a problem with her credit card at payment that I mentioned in another post. In the end, we got it all taken care of and she left yesterday to drive 3 hours to her parents for the holiday,with her 3 year olf and 10 year old in the SUV with her.

As I was showing the stuff the new neighbor had just dropped off to Mrs. Bear, my phone rang. It was another new neighbor down the road who is not in our neighborhood, but we drive past their house to get in and out of the neighborhood. These people have been in their house for just a few weeks now. This is the same new neighbor that I helped move some stuff for the husband with my tractor and pallet forks a few weeks ago while they were moving. I saw them struggling to get something out of the back of their pickup so I stopped and told them I would be right back with my tractor and pallet forks. I set a new refrigerator into their walk out basement door for him and his buddy who was helping him to install. That's how I met those new neighbors. I met the husband (and his friend) and neighbors oldest son, but not the wife or two younger kids at that time.

Yesterday late morning, thie other new neighbor lady went into her basement and found the floor all wet. She had called her husband and he had my name and number from when I stopped by and helped him a couple of weeks earlier and he suggested she call me. Her husband is traveling out of the country right now and won't be home until a week from today. She was all upset as she had water in her basement and not sure where it was coming from. I was able to drive right there and at least try to help her determine what was going on. I figured at a minimum, I could turn the water off and stop further damage.

I drove down to her house, which is within sight about 1,000 feet down the road and I identified myself. She told me what she had found and I asked her to stay off the wet floor to avoid a shock risk for her and the kids who are probably 3 and 5. She said that never even occurred to her when she went down there when she found the water, which is scary. I proceeded to go into her homes lower level to see what was going on. I asked her to keep the kids up stairs and out of the water as I had no idea what was plugged in downstairs or if there was a shock hazard. There was probably 2" to 3" of water on the floor at the bottom of the stairs.

It turned out when her refrigerator in the kitchen on the main floor was hooked up during their move a week or two ago, someone kinked the ice maker line and it finally broke. I shut off the water to the ice maker and made sure there was nothing sitting in the area with water on the floor downstairs. I had her come down and showed her what had happened. She was upset and didn't know who to call and was somewhat flustered. She said she was going to call her dad and talk to him which I thought was a good idea. I showed her it was the ice maker line and explained it was not a big deal to repair.

In the meantime, I ran down to Tru Value which is just a few miles away and bought a new copper line kit and some clamps for the floor joists as I don't like the plastic and it seems to have a lot of issues...... I ran home and grabbed some tools and my shop vac and a squeegee and the two commercial floor dryers we have which are used for drying carpet and used by the companies who do water damage restoration, etc. I was able to squeegee most of the water into the sump pit and I set the floor dryers around and plugged them in. I stopped back two hours later and the floor was all dry and problem fixed.

I made sure the line wasn't kinked and that it was clamped to the floor joists every 4' or so. All in all, it took me maybe an hour start to finish. I was glad to help her out. When I finished, she asked " So who do I need to call to fix it?" and I showed her it was all done and she was good to go. She didn't know what to say and seemed pretty surprised.

She wanted to pay me but only had a credit card. I told her not to worry about it and said "It's what neighbors should do for each other." I only had about $35 in everything and an hour of my time. I didn't have much planned yesterday anyway.

About an hour after I got home, I had a call on my phone and I didn't recognize the number but answered it anyways. I figured it was yet another ObamsScare enrollment call. It was this woman's father, thanking me for helping his daughter and grand kids. He wanted to get my name and address and send me a check for helping her but I told him his thanks was enough for me. He said "Sounds like my daughter and her family picked a great neighborhood to move into."........I like to think so...........

I simply don't get this aversion to knowing the people who live near you. You don't have to be friends and in fact, I have several neighbors who I don't particularly care for, but that doesn't mean I should turn my back on them in their time of need. Would they reciprocate? That's not the point. I can't control their actions and behavior, but I am responsible for mine. I live by the simple belief that I treat others as I expect to be treated. I don't do or say anything to anyone I wouldn't want said or done to me. I help when I can and don't "keep track" of who owes me favors.

One of the reasons why I plow our private roads myself with my tractor during severe weather to keep the roads open (other than it gives me a reason to play with my tractor and plow...) is because I had a friend who lived in another private road neighborhood across town and he had a medical event during a severe storm and the ambulance couldn't get to his house. He died. I decided after that experience that I would maintain access to our neighborhood during severe weather.

I simply wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing I could have done something to help prevent a tragedy and I didn't because I was waiting for or expecting someone else to take care of it. It's a cop out to claim "It's not my responsibility". I feel I have a moral obligation to make the neighborhood safe. After all, I have the equipment, I have the resources and I usually have the time. Just think, the very life I could be saving could be my own or Mrs. Bear's..........

I know there are half a dozen good guys in our neighborhood who my wife could call if something happened and they would help her out. There is probably more.

Tree Farmer is absolutely right about sometimes it's faster and safer to simply move the downed tree yourself. We had a couple of giant oak trees come down and block our road a few years ago. I took my chainsaw and cut the center out of the trees to move them so we could get in and out. While I was cutting the trees, three other neighbors showed up with their saws or just to lend a hand and we had the road passable in no time. Of course you have to be careful with downed electric lines, etc. but not being able to get emergency vehicles in and out is simply unacceptable.

Sad that Tree Farmers neighbor died. Could it have been prevented? Only God knows. But I sense that Tree Farmer and I are a lot alike. We hate to see needless tragedies when our help and intervention MIGHT have made a difference. Is there a risk of being sued for helping someone or not helping someone? I really don't care one way or the other. You can be sued for anything at anytime by just about anyone. I simply can't imagine seeing someone in need and saying "Sorry, but I can't help because you might sue me." But I know there are people out there like that........

Fear of being sued is not a reason to avoid or refuse helping. As long as your efforts to assist were made in good faith and you were trying to improve the situation, it's unlikely a suit against you would prevail. That's why everyone should have an Umbrella liability policy. I do know that had I could have done something to help and didn't because of the fear of a lawsuit, I would be harder on myself than others likely would be....................
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Fear of being sued

I make it a point to meet every neighbor and have their contact information and for them to have our contact information. It's not being pushy or nosy, it can be a matter of survival. I have put together a list of each neighbor, their name, address and phone numbers. I ask them to include email contact information and they all do. There is an optional place for them to list their kids names and ages and their pet's names and descriptions and everyone has put down the information.

It's complied on two sheets of paper and printed out alphabetically and also in address order, in case the people don't know their neighbors names, but know their address. Then they can look up their neighbors using either the names or their address. In fact, just this past Saturday, I passed out an update sheet so people can note any changes and I will have a new list for January 1 to provide everyone.

It's made clear that this is NOT to be used to market anything and that the information on this sheet is not to be given to others who are not immediate neighbors. We have had no issues with anyone "abusing" this information in nearly 20 years. I did have neighbors who are on our dead end county road, but don't live in our actual neighborhood, ask to be included in this list, but listed in a separate category on the sheet so the neighbors can contact one another if they need to.

Just yesterday I gave a neighbor lady and her two kids a ride to the repair shop to pick up her car which had a problem the night before. She called and asked if my wife or I could give her a ride to the shop so of course we would. Someone from her work was supposed to help her but backed out for some reason. I had picked her up at the car repair place late the afternoon before when she had to drop off her car. She was on her way home and her car was overheating so she stopped at the shop and needed a ride from there. I got her home and then she used her husbands car to pick up the kids, etc.

She didn't really know anyone else in the neighborhood (yet, but I will introduce her family to others in our neighborhood with kids about the same age if they want to meet them and she has indicated they would like to meet others..) and is an immigrant to our great nation. I dropped her off and ran some errands and when I got home, she called and wanted to know if she could stop by and drop off something. She brought an apple pie and a $50 gift certificate to our favorite local little family owned restaurant. Her kids had selected a toy for each of our K9 kids, which was nice. She didn't need to do this but I appreciate the fact that she appreciated my help.

Earlier this week, or was it last Friday, I made the arrangements and helped another neighbor get the rear brakes on her SUV repaired. Her husband was also traveling and her right rear brake rotor was metal to metal. She called me from work and said her truck was making a strange noise. When I walked over there when she got home, the brake was in desperate shape and needed repair immediately. She was uncomfortable dealing with it as she knows nothing about it and asked if I would help her. Of course. I made several calls and in the end, picked her up at the repair garage and then later the same day, dropped her off to pick her truck back up. She was the one who had a problem with her credit card at payment that I mentioned in another post. In the end, we got it all taken care of and she left yesterday to drive 3 hours to her parents for the holiday,with her 3 year olf and 10 year old in the SUV with her.

As I was showing the stuff the new neighbor had just dropped off to Mrs. Bear, my phone rang. It was another new neighbor down the road who is not in our neighborhood, but we drive past their house to get in and out of the neighborhood. These people have been in their house for just a few weeks now. This is the same new neighbor that I helped move some stuff for the husband with my tractor and pallet forks a few weeks ago while they were moving. I saw them struggling to get something out of the back of their pickup so I stopped and told them I would be right back with my tractor and pallet forks. I set a new refrigerator into their walk out basement door for him and his buddy who was helping him to install. That's how I met those new neighbors. I met the husband (and his friend) and neighbors oldest son, but not the wife or two younger kids at that time.

Yesterday late morning, thie other new neighbor lady went into her basement and found the floor all wet. She had called her husband and he had my name and number from when I stopped by and helped him a couple of weeks earlier and he suggested she call me. Her husband is traveling out of the country right now and won't be home until a week from today. She was all upset as she had water in her basement and not sure where it was coming from. I was able to drive right there and at least try to help her determine what was going on. I figured at a minimum, I could turn the water off and stop further damage.

I drove down to her house, which is within sight about 1,000 feet down the road and I identified myself. She told me what she had found and I asked her to stay off the wet floor to avoid a shock risk for her and the kids who are probably 3 and 5. She said that never even occurred to her when she went down there when she found the water, which is scary. I proceeded to go into her homes lower level to see what was going on. I asked her to keep the kids up stairs and out of the water as I had no idea what was plugged in downstairs or if there was a shock hazard. There was probably 2" to 3" of water on the floor at the bottom of the stairs.

It turned out when her refrigerator in the kitchen on the main floor was hooked up during their move a week or two ago, someone kinked the ice maker line and it finally broke. I shut off the water to the ice maker and made sure there was nothing sitting in the area with water on the floor downstairs. I had her come down and showed her what had happened. She was upset and didn't know who to call and was somewhat flustered. She said she was going to call her dad and talk to him which I thought was a good idea. I showed her it was the ice maker line and explained it was not a big deal to repair.

In the meantime, I ran down to Tru Value which is just a few miles away and bought a new copper line kit and some clamps for the floor joists as I don't like the plastic and it seems to have a lot of issues...... I ran home and grabbed some tools and my shop vac and a squeegee and the two commercial floor dryers we have which are used for drying carpet and used by the companies who do water damage restoration, etc. I was able to squeegee most of the water into the sump pit and I set the floor dryers around and plugged them in. I stopped back two hours later and the floor was all dry and problem fixed.

I made sure the line wasn't kinked and that it was clamped to the floor joists every 4' or so. All in all, it took me maybe an hour start to finish. I was glad to help her out. When I finished, she asked " So who do I need to call to fix it?" and I showed her it was all done and she was good to go. She didn't know what to say and seemed pretty surprised.

She wanted to pay me but only had a credit card. I told her not to worry about it and said "It's what neighbors should do for each other." I only had about $35 in everything and an hour of my time. I didn't have much planned yesterday anyway.

About an hour after I got home, I had a call on my phone and I didn't recognize the number but answered it anyways. I figured it was yet another ObamsScare enrollment call. It was this woman's father, thanking me for helping his daughter and grand kids. He wanted to get my name and address and send me a check for helping her but I told him his thanks was enough for me. He said "Sounds like my daughter and her family picked a great neighborhood to move into."........I like to think so...........

I simply don't get this aversion to knowing the people who live near you. You don't have to be friends and in fact, I have several neighbors who I don't particularly care for, but that doesn't mean I should turn my back on them in their time of need. Would they reciprocate? That's not the point. I can't control their actions and behavior, but I am responsible for mine. I live by the simple belief that I treat others as I expect to be treated. I don't do or say anything to anyone I wouldn't want said or done to me. I help when I can and don't "keep track" of who owes me favors.

One of the reasons why I plow our private roads myself with my tractor during severe weather to keep the roads open (other than it gives me a reason to play with my tractor and plow...) is because I had a friend who lived in another private road neighborhood across town and he had a medical event during a severe storm and the ambulance couldn't get to his house. He died. I decided after that experience that I would maintain access to our neighborhood during severe weather.

I simply wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing I could have done something to help prevent a tragedy and I didn't because I was waiting for or expecting someone else to take care of it. It's a cop out to claim "It's not my responsibility". I feel I have a moral obligation to make the neighborhood safe. After all, I have the equipment, I have the resources and I usually have the time. Just think, the very life I could be saving could be my own or Mrs. Bear's..........

I know there are half a dozen good guys in our neighborhood who my wife could call if something happened and they would help her out. There is probably more.

Tree Farmer is absolutely right about sometimes it's faster and safer to simply move the downed tree yourself. We had a couple of giant oak trees come down and block our road a few years ago. I took my chainsaw and cut the center out of the trees to move them so we could get in and out. While I was cutting the trees, three other neighbors showed up with their saws or just to lend a hand and we had the road passable in no time. Of course you have to be careful with downed electric lines, etc. but not being able to get emergency vehicles in and out is simply unacceptable.

Sad that Tree Farmers neighbor died. Could it have been prevented? Only God knows. But I sense that Tree Farmer and I are a lot alike. We hate to see needless tragedies when our help and intervention MIGHT have made a difference. Is there a risk of being sued for helping someone or not helping someone? I really don't care one way or the other. You can be sued for anything at anytime by just about anyone. I simply can't imagine seeing someone in need and saying "Sorry, but I can't help because you might sue me." But I know there are people out there like that........

Fear of being sued is not a reason to avoid or refuse helping. As long as your efforts to assist were made in good faith and you were trying to improve the situation, it's unlikely a suit against you would prevail. That's why everyone should have an Umbrella liability policy. I do know that had I could have done something to help and didn't because of the fear of a lawsuit, I would be harder on myself than others likely would be....................
I agree that you should help when possible and try pretty hard to live by that. We did have one neighbor that frankly, I helped one time and he turned out to be a terrible person. Beat his girlfriend, shot deer in the neighborhood out of season, told lies about my wife to another neighbor etc. Just an awful person all the way around. I honestly figured that sooner or later I was going to have to shoot him. I came pretty close the night his girl friend was walking through our yard with her face all beat up and she was crying for someone to help her. Fortunately, I called the cops and an ambulance but my first instinct was to take care of him, permanently.

Did his drive get plowed? Nope and he had the gaul to come up and yell about it. It wasn't like I had left a pile of snow for him to clear, just that it wasn't plowed. Fortunately he moved away but in addition to just being a total jerk, I'm sure he would have sued just because that's the person he was.

Treefarmer
 

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I used to live in town. Couldnt stand half my neighbors. Everyone out for themselves, and if something you were doing affected them in any way, you were an awful person and detriment to the neighborhood. This was something I wasnt used to, as I grew up in this neighborhood and moved back when we could afford to. We did have a couple great neighbors who we helped out when we could and they returned the favor, because the way I was raised, a neighbor may not be a friend, but you do what you can for them.
Anyway, after having enough of that, we moved out to a rural area, which is something we have always wanted to do anyway.
It took a while, but we managed to meet several of our neighbors. We only have a few close, and still have one that we have not met, but if something happens, we all know who can help with what.
I always make a point of checking on one of our close older neighbors anytime we have storms or bad weather.

As to response times, well, having lived in town, the response times arent all that impressive anyway.
I work in a very small town where all the fire/medics are volunteers. I am always amazed at the speed with which they respond. They are faster than our citys firefighters/medics ever were, and most volunteers are about the same around here.
I remember a couple years ago there was a bad accident on the corner North of us. I called it in, and they said they had Deputies and medics enroute. Medics come from quite a ways away from us, so I expected it to be a bit, but the Sheriff shouldnt take that long.
Took medics less than 10 minutes, took the Deputy 15.

I guess Id say the thing to know when living in a rural area is, who is coming to help, and from where?
Most of our neighbors knew some of the response times, so this too is a good reason to know neighbors. One of our neighbors is a volunteer FF/medic, so there again, good to know.

Personally, I wouldnt go back to living in town if it was free, regardless of some of the difficulties associated with living in a rural area.
 
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