The other day the Mister said, “There’s a 5-acre property for sale. Workshop, barn, decent house. It’s on the other side of town.” He pulled it up on MLS and we had a look.
“It’s great,” I said, imagining the kids running free in all that space.
“Would you sell this place for that one?” he asked.
“No, not after the freezer,” I replied even before he’d finished the question.
We’re expecting baby #3 to arrive any day now (literally: today is the due date). One of our neighbours decided, in lieu of a baby shower, to buy us a freezer and fill it with home-made frozen food. She didn’t intend on doing all this alone; she sent an email to all the families in our neighbourhood asking for a contribution to the freezer, and a frozen food donation.
When we heard about the plan, our throats grew lumps and our eyes watered. We’ve lived in places longer than we’ve lived here and we didn’t even know our neighbours’ names, let alone receive a gift from them — let alone a most thoughtful and generous gift such as this.
Last week a freezer appeared outside our door. The next day we received our first food donation: lasagne, cookies, and soup (all from one family). That night we ate the lasagne (okay, so it’s meant to be for later but right now I’m out of breath just thinking about walking up a flight of stairs). It was delicious; miraculously, even the kids thought so and gobbled up their share. Today we received another contribution: a gift certificate to True Grain Bakery in Cowichan Bay and a free-run chicken stuffed with cheese and ham from Cowichan Bay Farm (not the hamburger-patties-in-mushroom-soup-sauce of olden days). Again, all from one family.
So while we could always use more space for the kids to roam, and a workshop for the Mister to tinker with his trinkets, and a barn to convert into a guest house for friends to visit, and a studio for me to write, none of that is worth giving up our good neighbours.
To the families of Maple Bay, thank you for warming our hearts with a freezer full of frozen food. We hope one day we can offer the same kindness in return.