Monday, May 30, 2011

On, In, and Around Mondays: Giving a Little

chairs on porch

It started with a tire. I was at the library and saw my neighbor.

"Darn it, my tire is going flat," I complained to her. "I can even see the nail, and it's still got a piece of shingle on it! (The guy next door to me is getting his roof replaced.) Any recommendations where to go for this? Not too far?"

"Oh, I always use J & J for that kind of thing," she answered.

J & J is just down the street from me. It's easy to see and easy to miss. I have passed it a thousand times on the way to other places.

I dropped my girls at the house and drove on to J&J. Within a few minutes, it was all better.

"Fifteen dollars," Joe said.

"Um, I only have twelve dollars and seventy-five cents. Or I could pay on a credit card."

"No problem. Just give us the $12.75."

I did.

This past week, I needed the very same car inspected. Where do you think I went? Yes, J & J. And two days later, my husband's car started making a distressing noise and smelled like something was burning. I went to... [you fill in the blank].

Since J & J is walking distance, I left the cars both times and walked home. Past the flower place with the sun on its sign. Well, after stopping to buy some thyme for my littlest daughter's garden. When the nice Italian man behind the counter heard I was walking home, he made sure to offer me a simple brown paper gift bag to carry my herbal surprise.

I felt suddenly connected to my community in the dearest of ways. People had shared their talents with me, their generosity. They'd given me slack, and it brought me back within a week. It rooted me here just a little bit more.

Online, where "next door" is anywhere in the world, there are very real places, nonetheless. Places we pass a thousand times on the way to somewhere else. Places that are as easy to miss as they are to see. Then one day we find we have a reason to stop in, to come again, to get rooted. TheHighCalling has been one of those places for me.

How about you? Have you found TheHighCalling next-door yet? There's no Italian man behind the counter, but there's a Canadian Farmer, an Iowa Farmer, a Drupal Architect, a South-African photographer, a Texas mom, and so on and so on.

No one behind the counter is going to charge you $15.00, or even $12.75. It's free for the stopping-in. But it does take a whole lot of resources to maintain.

Maybe you would like to say thanks in some small way? You can give a little (as little as $10), or tweet or Facebook these stories about others who did...

Ann Kroeker, Jennifer Lee, Deidra Riggs, Bradley Moore, Laura Bogess, Charity Singleton, and Glynn Young (where you can still get a poem in your honor if you give to THC)

Speaking of giving, I need to follow up on my offer to give away Sacred Rhythms as part of our celebration for TheHighCalling's Give Campaign. It goes to Darlene, of Simply Darlene. Congratulations! And thanks for all you give to me and to TheHighCalling community. If I get a virtual flat tire, I might just stop by your place. :)


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button

This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...



Blogger Laura said...

I want to move to your neighborhood! In my little community folks don't leave their houses that often. And then, don't talk much...just a "hi, how are you.". So, I'm glad the High Calling isn't like that! Definitely a connected community. And that is so very nice.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Hello neighbor. I'm learning my way around the High Calling neighborhood and have now met two of its neighbors in real life. Just last week I discovered that I probably brushed shoulders with another who went to grad school near where I live in the real world. It's a strange thing, the intersection of real life and virtual community. Strange, but good.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Shanda said...

Unfortunately we are new to our community and still do not have that neighbourhood feeling. It is sad as that is such a vital part of life and a vital part of our witness.

7:12 PM  
Blogger a joyful noise said...

If we had a J & J, that is where I would go also. So kind to only charge you exactly what you had with you. Neighbors are a blessing when they are neighborly!

8:13 PM  
Blogger Real Live Preacher said...

Nothing like local merchants and mechanics to help us feel tied to our community. My mechanic is Mike Kastis, who I wrote about once at the High Calling. Love him. Great guy. Recently he was having trouble with his teen age daughter and stopped to talk with Jeanene and I about it. WE live in a big city but things like that make me feel like I live in a small town.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LL this is so funny, since I've actually driven through your neighborhood, this was so easy for me to envision!

What a great analogy - to delve deeper into the online neighborhood the way we would in our geographic neighborhood. I do feel like we are all neighbors, friends, some get a quick wave, others are more like sitting for iced tea on the porch, others I come to with a techincal problem (virtual flat tire?). Some I would like to party with on Saturday night. Some I will meet up with at Starbucks for coffee and book discussion. Some for business networking... Well, you get the picture.

6:24 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

I loved this post. Sort of has a Wendell Berry feel to it.
Virtual community is so interesting to me as sometimes I come here to visit.
What is that doing to our worldviews?!
I'm sure Berry would have alot to say, wouldn't he!

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Simply Darlene said...

Indeed, if you get a virtual flat tire, stop by. I'll drug it up with that nifty green goo and then we'll can in the pros. Of course we'll drink tea and eat these yumm-a-licious chocolate, vegan muffins I just invented.

And ya know, I must need a cranial tune-up cause I don't even know what or why I won anything. My bad. Please forgive me...

Thank you and all THE HIGH CALLING folks. You guys rock. I wanna have a party and you all are invited. There will be western swing dancing and water fights and marshmallow toasting, in no particular order.


8:50 PM  

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