The sense of community that is Floyd County arrived at our house Saturday when Jeff Belshan and Keith Bowman brought two lawn mowers and a string trimmer to tackle the wilderness area known as our front yard.
In a kindness that is far more than I deserve, they took it upon themselves to clean out downed branches and mow an unforgivingly thick thatch of grass and trim the edges, leaving a yard that looks far better than it ever has in the 15 years since we purchased the house and property since 2004.
The yard had gotten out of control because of mechanical problems with our eight-year-old Troy-Bilt riding mower and even more serious physical problems of its owner, who is recovering from a bout of muscle cramps and other complications from a prescription medicine he neither needed because it was intended for ailments he didn’t have.
Jeff and Keith went to work on the three-and-a-half, the steep patch of lawn, riddled with gopher holes and sinkholes from rotting stumps — buried by a previous owner who cut down the trees to make what was once a smaller yard much larger. In about 90 minutes, they were done and the lawn looked great.
I was embarrassed about the poor condition of the yard. Lawn work is not something I do well and I let this first mowing of the year go way too long.
Neither would accept anything more than thanks. It has been my pleasure to photograph their students in athletic events over the years and both said their efforts were a way to help in a time of need. My thanks cannot fully convey the gratitude I felt.
Their actions, thankfully, are part of the Floyd County experience. Folks here often go out of their way to help others. All they ever want in return is “thanks.”
In our 15 years in Floyd, we’ve lost count of the number of people who have helped us in times in need and refused any payment. Supervisor Lauren Yoder drove his tractor over paved roads to dig out the long, steep driveway to our, Julius Dickerson replowed that driveway when I was still recovering from a motorcycle accident, Kevin Sowers did it on another occasion and so many others, including those who were there to help Amy and me when I was in long recovery after the motorcycle.
I’ve tried to help others whenever I can and never accept money for that help but whatever help I provide pales to the efforts of those who have been here for us so often.
Jeff and Keith became the latest of those who have. They are big parts of why we now make Floyd County our home.
Thank you. This county has given me so much and I have done too little to repay.