Jul 4, 2024

Ask Around

morning coffee on my deck - one of the best things in life
 
Ask around. 
That's the answer you'd get on the Island when asking a question, discussing a challenge in your yard, where to find a particular tool and the like.
When you live in a remote small community, a Google search for near me is futile. 
You have to ask around
Asking around means:  
knocking on your neighbours’ doors, 
chit-chatting, 
presenting situations and 
problem-solving. 
If the problem can’t be solved with a tete-a-tete with your neighbour, ask around branches out.
The neighbour asks their contacts, and you ask around some more. 
You ask around at:  
the hardware store 
the gas station
the corner store and 
the coffee wagon. 
It's a process that requires patience and persistence, 
standing around and asking around until a solution is found. 
Nine times out of ten, you’re given a name and a vague description of someone’s house. 
Lyel might know. Go ask him. He lives off Solans in the school bus with the house built on top. 
Now you have to go knock on a strange man’s door. Who's also probably drunk.
Word starts to get around that you're asking around. 
In a few weeks, there’s a ten-out-of-ten chance someone will knock on your door and help you solve the problem 
—no strings attached. 
That’s what community is all about
—helping your neighbour and, in turn, being helped by them. 
I remember a time I was working in my yard, and I heard the brass bird bell on my gate clang. 
It was an awkward and embarrassed dude I’d never seen before, 
Hi, I’m sorry to bother you. I'm looking for Jean's house. I was given a brief description of what it looked like and was told it was over this way. I couldn't find it, and they told me to ask around, but no one was home anywhere. 
I empathized completely with the poor soul. 
Unfortunately, I didn’t know Jean. 
I pointed him toward my neighbours Scott and Bailey’s place and told him to ask around there.
After I sold my house on Hornby, I moved to another unfamiliar city. 
I tried to have conversations with folks and get to know people. 
I asked around about amenities, restaurants, and where to get plants for my garden
 – that kind of thing. 
 Nine out of ten times, the reply was, 
Just do a search
I flipped them off and walked away. 
No, I didn't. But I wanted to.

The Wind