Well, I'm happy with how that turned out! :)
There was quite a crowd for the auction, but most seemed to be curious locals rather than actual bidders. When the bidding began, there were really only about four or five serious bidders, which eventually dropped down to two.
The neighboring place eventually sold for $81,000, which surprised most everyone (most didn't think it worth that, because the house needs so much repair). However, the 20 acres of beautiful land and trees is a great selling point, and it was a GORGEOUS evening, weather-wise, for a sell, which made the place all that more appealing.
The winning bidders were a young couple from the area. The young man is about my oldest son's age range, and I know his parents -- we used to serve together on the local fire department. I don't think this young couple has been married very long, and they are both working full time and going to college, so they are really going to have their hands full; but they seemed to have lots of support from other family there, mainly a grandfather (who runs a successful business) who wants to help them remodel the house. I'm glad they got it over the second-high bidder, who was a contractor who wanted to tear down the house and put a big new fancy one there.
Better yet, the young couple, I believe, go to Pleasant Valley church east of town, which means they most likely KNEW the elderly lady that used to live there, before she passed away, because that's where she attended. That also means they have a belief in God (hopefully) and we have some common ground to build a good neighborly friendship. I had prayed for Christian neighbors, or at least someone who wasn't anti-God.
Steven and I introduced ourselves, as did several of the other neighboring people, to welcome them to our area. (where they currently live with his parents is about six miles away). We told them if they need help, feel free to ask us, we're right there. I think the young man was glad there was another young man (Steven) that close by as well. I told Steven this is a great opportunity for him to develop a friendship as well (since he spends a lot of his time alone).
Neither of them have any kind of "farm" background, so I'm sure this will be a challenge. They were already talking to us about goats! :)
The rest of the event was much like a reunion -- with neighbors just talking with neighbors who haven't had a chance to visit for awhile -- with harvest and daily activities taken up so much time. I got to chat with friends I hadn't seen in months.
I came home smiling.