Good neighbors make the community


It has been said that good fences make good neighbors. I think good communication makes for good relationships with friends, family and of course, our neighbors too! 

For the past few years, I have had someone helping me keep up with the mowing on the yard at our business in town. This year, right before hay season, my husband snagged my helper for the hay field. When they were busy during hay season, the yard in town was getting neglected. Eventually, he always made time to get caught up. I sincerely appreciated what a great job he had always done.

My husband is always looking around on Facebook marketplace for good deals on tools and machinery. One day he happened upon some friends of ours selling a John Deere zero-turn mower at a fair price. He asked me if I wanted to get my own mower to leave at the office to keep up with the yard. I looked it over and thought, yes, this is a great idea. I’ll get up early and go mow before the workday starts and keep up with it myself.

My husband went up to Benton County, Ark., and made the purchase. He left it up at my office and I tried it out. It was a lot different than the mowers we use at the farm, so I had to get used to all the new mechanics of it. It was a nice mower, and I was satisfied with the new purchase.

We have not had a lot of rain this summer, so it took a week or so to fire it up and cut the grass. When I started out, I realized, it is a lot harder job than it looks. The office sits on 4 acres but there are pine trees and utilities that must be navigated. I also have severe grass allergies. I doused myself in sunscreen and a dose of Allegra and set about the work. It took longer than I thought it would and it was difficult. I was already missing the lawn help. When I finished and put the mower away, my face was red, and I was sneezing uncontrollably. But, if you know me, I don’t give up easily.

As soon as the grass was high again, I came up one Saturday morning to mow. Unfortunately, when I pulled the mower out, it had two low tires in the front. Ugh! My husband was out of town and the air compressor was out at the farm. I didn’t really want to waste all my time driving back to get it, so I called my neighbor next door. 

When we built our business, Mr. Fritz was the first person we met in the surrounding area. He has always been kind and helpful in any way he can be. The flat tire Saturday morning was no different. He told me to drive it over and we’d use his air compressor to fill them back up. As soon as they were full, they started to deflatwas a leak. I ran into town and got some tire repair slime to fill them up. It took several tries to get the pump going but with perseverance, we got them filled up. He plugged one of the tires and it looked like they were going to hold air. We were both dirty and sweaty, but I gave him a big hug anyway. I was able to accomplish the yardwork and get on with my day. We are blessed with kind people who surround us at the farm and at work. 

I hope you are too, neighbor.

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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