Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood....."

When you have just bought a piece of land that's seen no action for 10 years, it's not too surprising that a little at a time, the neighbors start trickling in.

It's been a few weeks of us making steady trips to our parcels and in that time I've gotten a good sense of what we're up against, in for and blessed with in our neighbors.

First there was the Native American lady who tried to scare us with ghost stories and snide mention of how she nearly bought our place.

Then there was the walking lady who stopped to genuinely wish us well, kindness oozing from her smile and eyes, charm coming out of her mouth with every word. Ever read Anne of The Island? Looks like we will be having Miss Lavender for a neighbor and we are both more than thrilled.

Then there was the man who owned the land next to us (it's vacant) who stopped to see what we were doing, what our plans were, nose about, see if we were going to sell ours to him or possibly if he could sell his to us. That visit was quite confusing.

Then there was the lady whose cat has been camping out at our property, urinating and defecating in the old farm house, smelling it up badly. She stopped to tell us she's been trying to catch the durned thing. I think she needs to try harder.

Then there was the family that tried to tell us that the property line was three feet further in (in their favor) than it actually was. (Rumor has it that they move the surveyor's pins in their favor) After checking the tax maps and staking it our ourselves, we realized they were full of it.

Then there was the family up the road who didn't ask questions, just said "Hi,  how are you" and when I offered some info they offered their pile of 4 year old aged manure, offered to haul it down to us and give us as much as we needed. Genuinely neighborly. (finally!)

And finally there was the lady who, talking a mile a minute, informed us about the wolf pack that roams our property, the rabid raccoon that was shot up the road and that we should get a better lock on our shed. Scare tactics? She also offered us as much manure as we could want and I think she was trying to sell us one of her horses. The jury is still out on her....sincere? Maybe.

Unfortunately, what I'm learning from all of these encounters is most everyone who talks to us has an ulterior motive. Is a new neighbor such a threat? Do they think we're going to start fracking on our land?

Yesterday, we staked out one set of raised beds roughly twice the size of the garden I had last year.
We will be staking out 3 or 4 more of such set-a-beds. Holy mackerel; we will not be going hungry. At one point we took a break and as I looked at the empty, open, mountain backdrop to our land I thought and people quibble over a few feet of land.......and people believe that we are overpopulated.


8 comments:

  1. People can be odd- when we moved in the city all the busy bodies showed, including the "missionaries". We like to take our time and get to know people and not divulge too much...
    Nancy @ Littlehomestead in Boise

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    1. Exactly. I let my husband do all the talking because I'm way too transparent. I'll tell people everything before they can bat an eye!

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  2. Won't you be,
    Please won't you be my neighbor?
    So in additional to everything else you are learning, you are picking up new neighbor skills to say the right, peace-making thing to each of these folks, since you don't want to be on the bad side of any of them. Charming bunch, all of them. Good Luck!

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    1. In their own way, they are very charming, yes. I haven't truly disliked any of them but being a neighbor does seem to be a skill I'm learning now!

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  3. I've found it's difficult moving into a rural location. They know each other and they know the new folks but it takes time, a lot of time, for us to suss out the various families and situations. We had people show up to hunt on our land (been doing it for 30 years...blah, blah), people to raid our barns (we left such and such), people to buy our antique livestock scales (offered half of what they're worth)...it takes time to suss it all out.

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    1. Whoa, sounds like you've had quite some challenges. Well I hope you stood firm. That's where I am weakest. I'm from the midwest and we "don't want to bother" others which means you end up getting hoodwinked often. With my husband (a native central New Yorker and Italian at that) doing most of the talking, we seem to be doing alright!

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  4. I'm sure it will all sort itself out...eventually! At least it sounds like a couple of the new neighbors are truly neighborly!

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    1. They are. And I think the others will turn out to be in time. I think people just have to feel you out to make sure you're going to be a good neighbor too.

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