Tag Archives: Neighbors helping each other

Food Diary: Saved by the BBQ



Good old Kansas hospitality means a neighborly delivery of delicious smoky BBQ!

Sometimes I think my neighbors can read my mind.  After several hours of house chores I suddenly found myself without plans for lunch.  The girls were tired, cranky, and hungry.  I needed to put together a tasty lunch immediately! I had no idea what to fix, and was standing in the kitchen staring absently into the pantry when the doorbell rang.  I came face to face with the next door neighbor’s son, who was holding a sooty aluminum pan half full of smoldering BBQ.  Real barbequed pork, slow smoked in a back yard on a sunny Sunday!  Jackpot!

I took the pan to my stove and peeled back a little of the foil.  The slab of pork was caramelized to a black chewy crust on one side, still hazy pink on the other, and emanating a sinful smoky scent.  I teased a few obliging strands of the still warm meat from the slab with a small fork and had a taste.  It was charred heaven!  I fashioned a light lunch of pulled pork sandwiches with BBQ sauce, toast, mayonnaise, and homemade pickles on the side.  Each bite was a perfect marriage of wanton texture and complexity of flavor.  Even my daughters, who had refused to eat almost everything all day due to illness, were delighted to have a plate of BBQ smothered in zesty sauce for Sunday dinner.  There is something both humble and luxurious about having a meal of BBQ on a sunny afternoon.

I sent my neighbor a text message thanking her for reading my mind and spoiling us with a truly delicious treat.  It isn’t often that one is blessed with such generous neighbors, people who would share so thoughtfully.  We truly have the kindest and best neighbors anyone could ask for.

— G

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Look To Your Left, Look To Your Right

My husband came home from work a few weeks ago with a determined look on his face.  He told me that his chain of command was putting pressure on all the soldiers in his unit to dig deep into their pockets this Christmas season and donate to one or more of the many charitable causes in the community.

“It’s not that I disagree with the concept,” he said as he put away his uniform for the evening.  “It’s just that what Command is asking is actually really hard for some of my soldiers to do.  There are some who can’t afford to donate any money.  If they give up even one twenty dollar bill, it will cause them significant financial hardship.  There are really some people, in my company, who shouldn’t be asked to give.  I don’t think that Command understands that there are needy people within their own organization.”


Shoveling snow for neighbors after a big Kansas snowfall.

“That is terrible!  Is there something we can do?”  I asked.  We had already made it known that any and all single soldiers were welcome to our home on Thanksgiving, in case they had nowhere else to go.  Single soldiers stationed away from home are more susceptible to being alone on the holidays, and we wanted to provide a meal, good conversation, and a warm place to relax among friends, should that need arise.

“I don’t want to make charity cases out of anyone who might be identified as a soldier in need,” my husband answered, “but I also want my people to be aware that poverty and misfortune can strike anywhere.  We need to look to our left and to our right, and we need to be more conscientious of the relationships we have with those who we work with everyday.  They may have a need that we can fill through friendship and generosity.”

My husband went back to work the next day and spoke to his soldiers about looking to their left and right and being cognizant of those who might need a helping hand.  There are so many ways to give and show love; it doesn’t have to just be during Christmas.  I love this time of year because it reminds me of the hope that love and generosity can possibly last longer than just one season.  Keeping the hope alive and strong is up to us, in the choices we make whether or not to act with love and generosity of spirit.  Being there for a friend in need is a way to show love, and there are so many ways to be there.  If you are unsure where to begin just look to your left, and look to your right.

— G

This story was inspired by my husband, my generous and loving family, and my amazingly lovable friends on Facebook.  After reading uncountable posts about the immeasurable acts of kindness happening over the past weeks, I feel very blessed to know that so many people are out there sharing love and goodwill this Christmas!  Bless you all!