Welcoming KindnessSubmitted by Jennifer Cashin
Only two years after building our first house together, my husband and I embarked on our first major relocation of our lives that would take us further away from friends and family that we loved and the house we had just built. Moving to the Midwest was a big change for these New Yorkers, and while I was excited to be getting a career opportunity of a lifetime, it meant unemploying my husband and buying a house in an area of Ohio we barely knew anything about. I tried to let the excitement overpower the nervousness that filled my core, but it was hard to resist all of the "what if" scenarios running through my head: What if he doesn't find a job? What if we don't like where we live? While his job opportunity would follow a few months after our move, it was the first thirty seconds when we arrived at our new house that I knew we were going to be okay. The previous owners had moved out a few weeks before we actually closed on the house, leaving the yard in total disarray during our walk-through the day before closing. When we arrived at the house after closing 24 hours after our walk-through, we quickly noticed the lawn had been beautifully mowed and edged. We found out that our neighbor had wanted us to move into the house with the yard already taken care of, so he had taken the time to do the yard work himself. I felt like this simple act of kindness was like a big hug from the Midwest saying, "Welcome home. You'll find friends who will turn into family here." When I stopped to appreciate the well cut grass that day, it was one of those moments where I really just stopped and thought about the beauty of little things that often fall into the background of a busy life. While I didn't want to share a picture of our neighbor without permission, I felt like a picture of my mug of coffee was a perfect fit. I try to take the time while drinking my coffee every day to really think about things that often get taken for granted, like a great neighbor who is kind and welcoming before they've even had a chance to meet you.