November 29, 2021

Neighborly Spirit

by Guest Host Wendy Edwards

We recently moved to Johnson City because my husband was finally transferring to the pharmacy in the long awaited Publix that was set to open in June. My parents had moved to the area nearly two years prior, but unfortunately, my dad had passed away while we were waiting for the store to open. Being new to the area and with my dad no longer around to help us, my husband and I were tasked with the difficult job of unloading our storage containers by ourselves when we moved into our new home. What made matters worse is that not only did we have to unload them in the summer heat, but we also had to haul everything up a fairly steep driveway because the storage containers had to be left at road. 

Halfway through unloading our first container, we heard an unfamiliar voice from across the street ask us if we needed help. Even coming from south Georgia— where I thought I had previously experienced what could be considered some form of Southern hospitality— I was completely caught off guard by his offer. I was shocked that we had just met this man and he was willing to do manual labor with us… in the heat… for free. Now that’s what I call being neighborly! With our neighbor’s help that day, we were able to easily meet our deadline to get the containers emptied before my husband had to return to work the next week. Before moving here, I had always heard that Tennessee is home to some of the nicest people, and now I can say firsthand that this statement is true!

Although I had never personally experienced such a thoughtful and unexpected offer from a stranger, I had witnessed similar acts of kindness performed by my dad throughout his life. My dad was the type of person who would help anyone, at any time, whenever he saw a need. He was not a native Tennessean, but he definitely fit right in with the locals. Even though my dad had been gone for over a year at that point, I’d like to think that perhaps he was here with us that day after all, albeit in the form of this man from across the street.

Over these past few months, we have become even more thankful for this man across the street who never misses an opportunity to say hello or lend a helping hand. He truly encompasses that same neighborly spirit that my dad possessed until the day he passed. After months of searching for the perfect house in such a highly competitive market, I’d like to think that landing in this particular neighborhood with this particular man living across the street wasn’t just a coincidence (thanks, Dad).

In Loving Memory

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