I'll be the first to admit that moving back to New Bedford was not my first choice, but boy am I glad I did.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the Whaling City; you must understand that I'm a country boy at heart so this is somewhat new to me. Yes, I've lived in apartments before, but never owned a house here – especially one with a backyard that connects to three others.

At first, I was skeptical. What if my neighbors were not welcoming? I've never shared a backyard (in a sense that they're connected) with only a chain fence to separate them so I was worried that it was going to be nothing but problems. Again, nothing against living in the city, I'm just used to be surrounded by trees, cows and loose chickens.

The first day I walked to the backyard, I was greeted by not one but four dogs, and that was just the neighbor directly behind me. To my left were three more dogs and to the right were another two with an occasional visit from a family member's dog. The total, along with mine, was 11 dogs all within a 20 by 20 square foot area. Talk about stressful.

However, I was lucky and my neighbors have been really great since day one, especially one in particular who turned out to be one of my very close friends. Oh, did I mention she's an executive chef here in the city who can cook like nobody else's business? Seriously, I have been following her for years, going from restaurant to restaurant. It doesn't matter where, if she's cooking, I'm there.

That's where the story gets good.

Every so often, I'll get a surprise text from her requesting my "presence at the back fence." These texts usually mean I'm in for a real treat. Well, today I received one of those text messages and it was good news as always:

Gazelle/Townsquare Media
Gazelle/Townsquare Media

I swear, if there were an Olympic event for putting on boots, I'd place gold every time. No sooner did I send the confirmation to meet at the fence was I out the door, hurdling towards my neighbor.

At the fence, I was greeted with some of the best homemade Portuguese gravy I've ever had to go on top of some beef tenderloin steaks I had just defrosted, and of course some freshly baked cupcakes with a creamy whipped homemade chocolate frosting on top of the dessert. Now, I know I shouldn't, but moderation has always been my best friend.

The moral of the story is this: Get yourself a Wilson, as in the guy from Home Improvement with Tim Allen. Someone who will be there for you when you're having a rough day and knows that cupcakes will always make it better. Someone who will meet you at midnight after they get home from a late-night shift just to take a nightcap shot with and someone who you know will always have your back like they do your backyard.

Now, I know that not all neighbors are going to be saints, but in this case, I was fortunate enough to have found a couple of "Wilsons" here in New Bedford – and I wouldn't trade these wonderful people for the world.

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