Yesterday was Big Event. For those not in Aggieland, Big Event happens every March, and those of us who sign up get four hours (ish) of help from a group of volunteer Aggies. I've participated a half a dozen years now, twice as a student, four times as a member of the community, and it has always been a good experience.
This year, I got 8 girls from a Christian Sorority, all of whom were enchanted by my poultry and impressed with our efforts to grow produce. They swept off the gutters, helped me gather about a tree's worth of branches and sticks from around the yard, and took all the wire down from the old chicken pen, salvaging what they could. They also raked up leaves and placed them near the current pen for me, and organized as many bricks etc as they could find so that they are easy for me to re-use. :) I let them go early cuz they had worked so hard I ran out of things to do that weren't obviously adding on things to my job order (which is a no-no).
Later in the afternoon, the rental neighbors had someone over finally taking the big limb off the tree (it cracked during the ice storm and has been laying on their roof since). I went over as they were finishing up and asked if anyone needed cold drinks...fetched water, and as I handed the last one to the one who seemed in charge (he got to drive the heavy equipment) admitted I had an ulterior motive...what would he charge to take this small ugly tree down in my front yard?
He did it for free! :)
Between that, and finding a pile of old fence boards on the side of the road, I feel pretty darn happy. Karma even gave me a chance to give back when two teens fundraising for a trip to DC came by that evening...I gave them my tip money.