As the temperatures start to get a bit cooler, something that always warms my heart is seeing neighbors be, well, neighborly!

Whether it's the young kid from down the road raking leaves for the older couple that live nearby, or folks next door exchanging friendly smiles and waves of hello as they pass each other in the morning, we're really lucky to live in a place where, for the most part, neighbors can be neighbors.

It's not that way in other corners of the nation. And it's something I used to take for granted, until I moved to bigger cities in bigger states. One of the places I lived was so sketchy, the people there warned me when I arrived, not to stop too long at a stop sign, and definitely not to look in to the cars next to me, as that could be perceived as an act of aggression. Can you imagine?!

One thing I learned, years ago during the Ice Storm of '98, is that Mainers make some of the very best neighbors. During that storm, there were reports of people traveling by snowmobile to towns nearby, sharing survival supplies and support with people they didn't even know.

And then there's my own first-hand experience with events like Free the Z (which is coming up next month! Mark your calendars for November 13th!). I remember having one gentleman come up to me, a bit out of breath, and handing me a $20 bill. He told me he had walked all the way from Stillwater Ave to the Brewer Hannaford parking lot to give me that money. And he said he did it because, the year before, he had been on the receiving end of a neighbor's generosity, and wanted to return the favor.

That's how we roll, here. We help. It really doesn't take much. And you never know how much of an impact one neighborly act can have on someone.

For instance, last night, when I got home, cranky and tired and hungry after a long day, with all my kids screaming at each other, and the dog barking because he had to go out, I noticed a bag on my front door knob. In that bag, my neighbor had put a fresh-baked loaf of bread, a  jar of corn chowder and some crackers. He left me a note thanking me for the jar of soup I had sent him last week (as a thank you to him, for removing a pile of brush from my front yard.)

He had no idea how that one little neighborly act of kindness turned our night around. It's that easy, and I'm glad Mainers seem to be keeping this lost art of "being good to one-another" alive. For that, I'm grateful! Won't you be a neighbor?!

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