Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If you're going to pay the money to live in the country...

why would you cut yourself off from the very nature the you're paying so much to live in?!

So yesterday I drove up to my parent's property on Pine Creek, which is right at the base of the Elkhorn Mountains. After picking up the things I needed from their attic, I headed back into town. As I was driving home, I noticed a new house on the right side Pine Creek, just before you reach Pocahontas Road. The first thing I noticed was their landscaping, which was pristine...park-like even. The next thing I looked like a prison.

Don't get me wrong, the house was very nice. It was the fencing around the property that made you instantly think of standing outside of a prison yard, looking in. Around the sides and back of the property was cyclone fencing approximately 7 ft tall. On top of that were about 3 rows of barbed wire, spaced approximately 6 inches apart, one above the other. At the front of the property, where the driveway enters, was a dark wooden fence, equally as tall as the cyclone fencing. Across the driveway was a metal gate. Not the metal gates we're use to seeing on farms in this area. Oh no, it looked like those double gates that you see on swanky gated communities. This gate was also over 7 ft tall.

Looking at this, all I could think of was a huge "Outsiders Not Welcome Here!" sign. Whether this means neighbor children, other peoples' pets, or local wildlife, there is only one way onto that property, and it probably comes with a code. Which makes me wonder...don't you move out into the country to get out of the city and enjoy the nature and people around you? Heaven forbid some deer get into your yard and prune your pansies back a little bit. Growing up, I loved being able to watch the deer that came into our yard or wandered the orchard next to our driveway, looking for fallen apples.

Nature aside, what about your neighbors? What kind of impression does that give them? As an only child, I often wandered over to our neighbors' houses, knocked on the door, and asked to play with their kids/horses/dogs/whatever or help in their garden. I grew up believing that you knew your neighbors and were able to go to them if you had a need. I still remember when I missed the bus, couldn't get ahold of my mom, and our neighbor across the street gave me a ride to school. If they had built a large fence around their property, there's no way I would have felt welcome and I would have missed out on a lot of rich experiences.

So to those who aspire to move out into the country and build a large fence around their property and themselves, I would say this: stay in town. Go back to California, or Bend, or whatever yuppy community you came from. Stop driving up our property values so that those of us who would love to live out in the country with all the pansy-eating deer can actually afford to move out there. And if you insist on crowding our wide open spaces, leave your prison fences and fancy schmancy gates back where you came from.

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