June 02, 2008

Just a Little Weird

Got home from church yesterday and were greeted with a very nice surprise: a cut lawn. It appears that our neighbor needed to cut his lawn, and just popped right over the driveway and did a quick cut for us too! Very cool.

So, how do you thank a neighbor for such a selfless act?

Okay, so here's a wrench in the matter: how do you thank a neighbor for such a selfless act when that neighbor speaks a different language?

I don't believe that the father/husband speaks any English, but I know that mom/wife has been taking classes to learn. I do have some conversations with their seven year old daughter and her cousin. Is is apropriate to ask them to send thanks on my behalf? Is it better to write a thank you note, offering to do the same in return? If I do that, do I write it in English and then copy it into Spanish? (BTW - I do not speak or write Spanish very well either, but am sure that I could translate a short note)

Please let me know your thoughts. I'm at a loss...


  1. I think something quite informal would be sufficient and not disrespectful since you don't speak Spanish. I would just point at the grass, smile and say muchas gracias next time you catch him outside.

    A couple of weeks ago I went outside to find 5 hostas transplanted from a neighbor's garden into our weed patch out front. That was a very happy discovery and a huge relief for someone who just doesn't have time to get to it.

  2. Our neighbor has a snow plow that's small enough to do the sidewalks, and he does the whole neighborhood. I always take over baked goods at least once a year.

    Sugar - the universal language. :)

    Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

  3. you could try a way to return the favor. For instance, maybe the next time trash is picked up, you could bring his trashcans back for him. Or try to catch a time to mow his lawn. My neighbors do that with us

  4. Hey Rob-
    At work we sometimes have kids translate. It's totally appropriate as long as you speak to the parent, not the child, as the child interprets. Plus, chances are the child is used to translating. I think that's such an awesome gesture!
    Be careful with those online translation programs- I once asked kids to bring in some type of fruit and carpets instead of folders at work using one of those programs. :)