(Part of my series on moving from Cotton-Top Hills. This post is an article that will be my second to last for our community newspaper.)
When you move into a new house, you never know what kind of neighbors you are going to end up with. You hope you’ve found a neighborhood that has children for your kids to play with and people that will welcome you with open arms, maybe even have neighborhood gatherings, and where you look out for one another. But the fact is, you never know any of that until you’ve already bought the house.
When we moved to Bushland, Eagle Tree to be exact, I was pregnant with our third child. I was a little afraid of not knowing anyone. What if I went into labor with my husband at work over an hour away? Would I have anyone to call for help? Within days of moving in I had my answer. It was winter and we were having one of our famous snow/ice storms. Our electricity went out and luckily we had some firewood that we were using to keep us warm. We were all camped out on the living room floor, trying to ward off the bitter cold, when in the darkness we heard a knock at our door. It was our next door neighbor who had trudged across half an acre to see if we were okay and if we needed firewood. We were so happy to know someone out there was thinking of us and if we needed it help was not far away.
We were welcomed with food, sweets, and friendly conversations. Our neighborhood is a little different, in that the houses sit on 2 to 10 acres, but that distance didn’t stop our neighbors from coming over and introducing themselves to us. It was a wonderful feeling to know my family had moved into such a welcoming place.
Over the years we’d gather for trash pick-ups along Dowell Road, summer picnics, pumpkin patch parties, and dinners. While we all liked our space, we also loved to get together and celebrate the wonderful place we called home.
Neighborhoods can be extensions of your family if you are lucky. I would say the Bushland community does that very well. There are not many places that you could live where your neighbor would drop everything to rush you to the ER, while another neighbor would take your three children for the night. Or a neighbor on the other side of your neighborhood whom you’ve never met, but knew on Facebook, would get on his tractor with snow on the ground and temperatures hovering in the negative digits to deliver two 50 gallon barrels of water, just so you could flush your toilets. And if you have neighbors who do that, it shouldn’t surprise you to get a phone call from a neighbor nearby offering her home while they are away for you to shower and hang out, while your frozen pipes thaw.
Yes, I think the Bushland community has many things to be proud of, but the thing I am most proud of is the genuine caring of the people who live here. I have lived in many places in my life, 6 states and 11 towns, and I can say Bushland is very unique. What a blessing it has been to raise my family in such a place for the last five years. It gives a parent a sense of peace to know their children have experienced humanity at its best, the way God intended.