here. But I mean to talk briefly about the act itself--the giving--and how nice it felt.
First, some background. When my wife and I arrived in Lincoln, six years ago, this neighbor greeted us right away with a knock on the front door and a big slice of chocolate cake. Since then we've been trading goodies across our driveways, everything from pulled pork and lemon bars to hot cinnamon popcorn balls on Valentine's Day. It's one of the forms of neighborliness that hasn't been stamped out of contemporary life in Nebraska: people here want to share their good fortune.
And there's something about giving like this, something essential, that transcends both the divine flavor of the cake and the sense of community that engendered the sharing. We aren't rich people by any means, not my wife and I, and not our neighbor. In fact, I'd say we're squarely lower-middle class, and this is a lower-middle class neighborhood. People here work for a living. Dorothy on the corner, who turned 93 last week, spent thirty years on the concrete at Weaver's potato chip factory.
But when we share something like a piece of rhubarb upside-down cake--such a simple pleasure, after all--how truly rich we become.