All of winter 2015 I’d drive by our neighbor’s house gawking at all of the beautiful oranges dangling from the huge tree in their front yard. I also noticed that they had kumquats off to the side of their house. Looking at the fruit reminded me of the fruit trees my grandparents had in their yard, which included a kumquat tree, an orange tree and a tangerine tree. My cousins and I would run around outside for hours and snatch some fruit and keep playing; the fruit was like an instant fuel source.

Well winter 2016 had rolled around and I noticed the fruit again. My husband kept encouraging me to ask the neighbors, but for some reason, the “courage ambassador” was afraid. We’ll the enemy wasn’t going to win this time around. So one Sunday after church I pulled into the driveway and got out and rang the doorbell. I heard a small dog barking. No one answered. I rushed back to my car to write a note requesting some of the oranges; I also included my cell phone number.

Later that day, I received a call from Ms. Gale, the owner of the home inviting me down to pick some oranges. I could hear her smile through the phone. However, our son was asleep–darn it! I told her I would get by there another day. We scheduled a time and Bryce and I picked oranges and kumquats–we left with a bag full! Ms. Gale told me that she and her hubby were country folks and like fried food and collard greens (my kinda people).  Well since Christmas was only a couple of days away, I decided that I would make them one of my sweet potato pies–surely if they ate fried chicken and collard greens, they’d eat sweet potato pie. I was so excited about giving them a pie along with a Christmas card thanking them for SWEET oranges (they tasted like sugar). So the day after Christmas, I walked up and rang the doorbell. Ms. Gale answered and invited me in. They were having dinner and I gave her the pie. Her husband, Mr. Fritz told me that he’d get me some more oranges and she invited me back for a margarita.

Here’s what I learned from this experience, fear won’t only keep you from a yes, but a good friendship. Glad I mustered up the courage to ask for some oranges that led me to get to know our neighbors as our friends.

Our neighbor's tree, close up! Yum!