One reason that people move out to the country is for the open spaces. Acreage. Maybe to plant a garden or raise some crops. Or to raise a few cows or chickens. And to put some distance between themselves and their neighbors.
Not that country folks aren’t friendly. In fact quite the opposite is true. Neighbors come together to help each other. They just don’t want people breathing down their neck.
While I was out on the lower forty clearing some brush, I was a little surprised to see these neighbors staring at me over the fence. The fence marks the property line. It also keeps some tings in, and others out.
Silently they had all come to look at me. Who was I and what was I doing? I went over to introduce myself calling out, “Hello!” There was no reply, but I could tell that they were eyeing me, and seemed quite satisfied that I was friendly.
Until I got right to the fence and made a move to climb the small embankment that stands between my driveway and the fence. I made a quick movement, accompanied by a medium loud grunting sound as I leapt toward the fence. That sent the neighbors running.
Trying to regain their confidence I called out again. “It’s ok, come back.” They stopped, and turned. One by one the bravest moved toward me. And as they did, others followed.
Big family. I counted twenty seven of them. We chatted over the fence for a while. Or at least I chatted. They seemed more interested in staring than talking. And finally I decided to head on down the driveway to recover my newspaper.
As I walked down the driveway they began to follow me. Still watching me. I wasn’t sure what they were expecting from me. Just curious I guess. When I got to the top of the driveway and bent down to pick up the paper they all ran off again. Skittish bunch I thought. But eventually several began to follow along as I walked back down the driveway.
They didn’t say anything this time, but I have heard them many times before. Loud voices. Day and night. But not distressing or disturbing.
Not the kind of neighbors you’d have in the city. Or in a subdivision. Only in the country. They need a lot of space like the rest of us out here.
And it’s neighbors like these that brings many of us out to the country. And a way to get back to nature just a little bit.
That’s part of my story. What’s yours?