The Art of Bartering

Neighbors have a unique connection not replicated in any other relationship.  The associations that develop are a sort of hybrid between friends and acquaintances.

Unlike friends, we don’t choose them.  Unlike acquaintances, they are privy to one’s habits, schedules and oftentimes embarrassing personal information.

Aside from the Code-enforcement-calling wet blanket, I am rather fond of my neighbors.  The homes directly surrounding mine contain families that look after me, in a way.  Rebecca from next-door lets me know when Rennie has strayed from the yard or if I forgot to close the trunk of my car.   Brian, on the other side of the house, can be counted on to collect mail and water the plants in my absence.  David and Matt, in the houses across the street, are familiar with my schedule and which cars to expect in my driveway.  The fact that they  would be alerted to anything unusual is pleasantly reassuring.

I have become partial to Matt, in particular.    Our rapport is based on our mutual obsession with tiny dogs (he owns two Dachshunds), ongoing sarcastic banter and hollering “bitch please” ironically at each other.  Matt and I have developed a bartering system which is continuously evolving.  Try it with your own neighbors, it is great fun!

Yesterday, I was working in the front yard pulling weeds and wound up with a small harvest as pictured below:


Does anyone know where I can get a Cornucopia???


I traded Matt one of these lovely organic tomatoes….


…for an Veggie Spring Roll still hot from his China Garden take-out order. 

All in all, not a bad transaction, eh?



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