One of our old time farmers in the neighborhood passed away this weekend. His health had been deteriorating for some time and his body finally gave out.
As I prepared a jello fruit salad to drop off at the funeral home for the dinner it got me to thinking about how the neighborhood has changed so drastically. No longer the same. Back before my time this neighborhood was a farming community. Everyone knew each other. As you drove by your neighbors you stuck your hand out the window, waved and honked your horn. The housewives spent their days working on the farm; feeding livestock, collecting eggs, pitching out pens, tagging calves, or weeding in the garden. If they weren't outside tending to the farm chores they were inside canning, cleaning, washing laundry, and preparing a three course meal for their family. On sunny, warm days laundry was billowing in the breeze on the clothesline.
It was necessary for farm wives to stay home because everything around the farm was labor intensive and the family worked together to provide for their survival as well as sell some product for profit. It was common to know your neighbors when you stop by to borrow equipment, talk about the local news or host gatherings.
Neighbors celebrated births and marriages but they also mourned their losses together. News was spread quickly through the neighborhood and they were at their doorsteps with home cooked dishes of food to show their support. It was a way to help each other out when you didn't know what else to do. I have been in this neighborhood for about 25 years and there is only a handful of the old timers left and the number of farmers have decreased as well.
Changes are inevitable but the nostalgia of a tight knit neighborhood is a way of the past.