"Neighbor" from the Old English meaning "nigh" or "near" and (ge)bur meaning farmer. That it's from the Old English puts it in the time of Chaucer when one's neighbor would more likely than not be a farmer simply because most people in the countryside were farmers. Today we still have the sense that a neighbor is someone nearby, and as was always the case, that person can be a friend, a nodding acquaintance, or merely someone we see on rare occasions.
Fortunately for us, our neighbors are friendly people and some we have known for some time. Judy lives nearby and is a retired teacher like me. We chat, wave, do small helpful tasks, and laugh as much as we can. Tom is another neighbor, also retired. We have in the past exchanged cat-sitting details, taken in the mail, rolled out the garbage cans, and as frequently as we can manage it, we enjoy glasses of wine either in our family room or in our backyard (in the fall we chase the sun by moving our chairs all over the backyard to prolong the pleasure of being outside before winter sets in).
Both of these neighbors have rushed to our aid in our latest refrigerator crisis. Tom gave good advice and is keeping an eye on things when we head off for D's college reunion, and Judy not only lent us some refrigerator/freezer space but also lent us her super compact refrigerator. Wow, what a novel idea! She said she bought it when her big, everyday one died and keeps it for emergencies. Hers is about a 20" cube into which I was able to get quite a bit of perishables.
Thinking it is a really good idea to have a back-up plan, I suggested to D that we go to Home Depot and buy one, too (they're not very expensive). I opted for a slightly larger size because of Thanksgiving which we typically host at our house. I pointed out that it would be a good place to store the turkey. D, who had been looking at the Judy-sized model, surprised me by agreeing with my reasoning*. We now have two compact refrigerators holding the food cold until the delivery of the new, regular sized model on Monday.
We are lucky to have such good neighbors!
*I think D simply realized that the larger unit will give him more room to keep more beer at the appropriate temperature.