I have met the neighbors, briefly. They seem to be taking a lively interest: one neighbor mentioned they were taking bets on whether I could fix up this dump or be buried by the costs of repair. I suppose after they banned cock-fighting, the locals have to have some sort of fun. I’ll know whose side they are on as soon as I ask to borrow a ladder… They seem to be typical in their rural archiving habit (“I’ve got an acre, I’ll just leave this sink here in case I need it in five years”) so I know I won’t have to worry about keeping the grass trimmed to a Marine buzz cut. After living for five years in a place where no matter what I did it offended someone, I’m looking forward to that! Not that I’m a slob, but I do have an appreciation for the beauties of wildlife (my house, for instance, is a wild dust bunny sanctuary).
And I love recycling, whether it’s composting or re-using containers… so when I saw the white and yellow 30wt oil jugs dangling from the neighbor’s metal fence poles (apparently as “reflectors” for after-dark steering), I knew I could feel easy about my collections, whatever they turned out to be (yes, I have a real soft spot for junk yards, second (okay fourth) hand stores and thrift shops). My yard art-in-progress will at least be more creative than those bottles… I’m planning a giant Fairy scarecrow; it was in my mental hopper for years, but the community living group had a hard enough time of my using a kid’s yellow rainslicker for a scarecrow, and it never got past the lawn committee. I have a vision for the outside yard that I know is unlikely to be realized, but if even a few pieces make it (like the scrap fence compiled of neat recycled windows, fence parts and wooden art), I will be as happy as a pig in compost, or a FOX talk show host in Republican rumors.
I’m currently neighbored by three uninhabited houses: one is for sale, and the other two apparently not… one is uninhabitable (tiny, floors ripped up -- a do-it-yourselfer’s failed project?), and the neighbors say the owner gave up on repairs about a year ago and hasn’t been seen since. The other is a full size house, completely painted in metallic silver, which luckily has been dulled by the years because the neighbors say on a sunny day you could see it from airplanes passing overhead. It’s owned by the lady who has a herd of goats one house over from it; someone says it’s her studio… my point of view is that since I basically have all the land that I can see from my yard completely to myself, all‘s right with the world. I am apparently the youngest member of the housing group on these two gravel roads, so I can reasonably hope to avoid loud modern head-banging music that is the Song of the City… my new place is about as countrified as it can be and still be within a mile of the town proper. On a nice day (presumably sometime next July) I will be able to walk to town and get all the groceries I can carry home (and that, my friend, is the Country Home Diet…)