My neighbor has this ATV with a snowplow on it. His brother lives on the other side of me. Since brother 1, (the one with the ATV—the older one I think), clears brother 2's driveway when it snows enough to break out the heavy equipment, I benefit because he leaves the plow down and clears my sidewalk on the way over. This is really neat because it cuts my shoveling in half. (I keep telling myself that I'll get a snow blower, but I never seem to get around to adding it to the budget—besides it's a good forced workout.)
So, tonight while finishing up dinner, I hear the ATV running around reminding me that I had to still shovel. I get outside and start when my neighbor drives up and says "thanks for helping my wife today."
OK, back up a bit...
This afternoon, I was heading down to make some coffee and see out the window that the neighbor's wife's car is stuck in the road, (they rarely plow our street). So, I went out to help push. (Never mind that I was on a conference call at the time—I had the phone on mute, but the speaker was on, so who knows what they thought with these voices coming out of my pocket talking about organizational stuff). Anyway, her son and I push for a bit with no luck then I head back to get a shovel when she breaks free on her own.
When I get back in the house, I make a joke to the others on the call about hoping my neighbor clears my driveway tonight.
So...back to shoveling. A couple minutes in, the neighbor drives up again and asks if I wanted him to clear my drive. I tell him I won't complain, so he does, (plus his brother's driveway and a lane down the street).
Now, I'm not advocating a "pay it forward" mentality; helping out is the right thing to do without expecting things in return. But then I started thinking about the comment I made earlier about hoping my neighbor would shovel my drive. And then I started thinking that I never made an effort to thank him for plowing my walk. I mean, if I was out I'd wave and say thanks, but we're rarely out at the same time.