Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Real Life

There is blog life. This blog life involves recording what goes into the garden, into the soup pot and onto the knitting needles. Blog life is about life on the homestead, thoughts running around in my brain, concerns I share with you about the state of the world; cares,  concerns and accomplishments of my children. Blog life is where I contemplate how the big changes in the world at-large affect my family's day to day life.

Then there is real life.  Real life is where sometimes ( okay often) the house is a mess and the garden is over ridden with weeds. Real life is the struggle and joy of making a marriage work. Real life is the impatience of waiting for a toddler to finish his little temper tantrum and wondering how " together moms" manage it. Real life is picking up the hair balls that the cat's so graciously shared or better yet stepping in said hairball first thing in the morning. Real life sometimes needs a second cup of coffee ,even if it is not fair trade and locally roasted, because dammit I is tired!

So this post will interject some real life into blog life. In real life, our family has struggled with some pretty dysfunctional neighbors for the last 6 months. Really, to be frank, the proper term to use would be pissing contest. 

It all began with a plow truck.  We had one. We plowed our private road and a few neighbors drives for a very fair and inexpensive price. However, the truck is old, the amount of snow that gets dropped in this region is considerable, and the time to plow sometimes would take 6 hours.  So we told those folks who would be effected that they should make other arrangements for the winter and that we would plow in front of our house.  One neighbor ( and his family of 15 children) started plowing the road. No big deal, except that he decided that he would push a fair amount of snow over a wooden culvert that feeds into our property.  We asked him to stop giving the culvert his special attention because we were concerned about erosion of the wooden culvert.  He refused. His basic stance is ," I am taking over the maintenance of the road, you can't stop me, I don't care  if I do damage to your property." Strange things began happening to our chickens. The neighbors would often walk by the house and stop to dig trenches in the gravel road with a pick ax or their boot. For one month this past spring there was a lot of gun fire coming from their place. We have contacted the police.  The whole situation has escalated to the point where we have consulted a lawyer.  They have taken us to court for harassment because they say that we have: threatened legal action, raised our voices to tell them to stop what they were doing to our property. Now, they have the guy; who owns the land across the road and does not live there, in on the action. This guy is a drug addict and dealer who decided to construct a spite fence with a toilet seat hanging on it. There is a pretty good chance that said drug dealer will be putting a house on his property this summer.

Ahh... bucolic country life...

So what are a couple of peace loving hippies to do? Well, we could spend about 3,000 dollars on a lawyer and take this to court for a property rights issue. It would probably take about a year and is no safe bet that we would win. And they would still drive by our house.  We could construct a fence the whole length of our considerable frontage.  But again that is costly and not really the kind of neighbor we want to be and it would not resolve the road issue. We have consulted other neighbors with a stake in the care of the road. But there is no clear plan of what should  be done.

But one should feel safe in one's home.

And, if I were to get really doomerific about it all, I am not sure that I could trust my neighbors if the SHTF.

So, we have spent the last few months considering alternatives.  This is what we have decided. If we need to spend 3,000 dollars we would rather put it into something that gives peace of mind. We would like more land because we would like to get into some small market gardening and more sheep. Hubby applied for a new full time teaching position in the western mountain region of the state. It has a really great vibe. He found out yesterday that he got the position. It is better job security. 

Now the nail biting starts. There is a lot of work to do to get the house ready to put it on the market. And we have to sell it. Oy! We have to find a new home. And boy wouldn't it be great if all this could be done before school begins on August 31. Oh and by the way...I've already planted my garden.


Wendy said...

Oh, man. I'm so sorry. Bad neighbors totally suck. We had a fight a few years ago about our road - with the town, not our neighbors, and our neighbors were actually in on it with us. After reading your road story, I'm glad we went after the town instead of trying to form a "neighborhood association", because I can imagine that our situation would have degenerated into something like what you describe. People can be really petty sometimes.

Anyway, I'm sorry you have to move, but it sounds like you're getting the better end of the deal ;).

Kathie said...

Sorry about the neighbors but congrats on the opportunities ahead!

Kathy said...

Well, there's a lot going on in your blog life and your real life. Leave the stress behind and know that it will all get done. You know it will.

Okay. Did you actually write, 'together mothers'? Cause I'm telling you it's all a fabrication and allllll these years later I'm still trying to get it all together.

Ain't gonna happen, I suspect.

Darn neighbors ...