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Monday, November 19, 2007

Take Some Responsibility

I was reading some blogs, catching up on a few, reading new to me one {blogger isn't allowing me to comment right now, I will get back to it in a while}. And I realized that I have been neglecting one important part of living away from towns, everything is your responsibility.

The city is slowly encroaching on our homestead. A new housing development is going in a few miles away. This will affect our free flow of traffic on our 2 lane paved roads. Traffic around these developments get bad. People don't seem to understand how to drive in the boonies.

Take for example the combines that frequent our roads. People can get so impatient that they put their selves, the tractor operator and on coming traffic in danger. The Combine has the right away, if you wish to keep things safe. If you come up on one, make sure you are allowed to pass before even thinking about doing so. Last month a driver decided to pass a Combine on one of our bridges, a no no, it caused a tractor trailer driver that was on coming to swerve to miss the impatient driver, and the tractor trailer driver slammed into the concrete barrier of the bridge.

If a combine or tractor or grain truck is coming toward you, remember that you are smaller and more maneuverable then they. Especially on a dirt road. Take a moment and pull to the side, allow the on coming driver to have more of the road. They will thank you for it. {and while we are talking about driving on a dirt road, stick to 45 mph or under, and if someone on a bike, motorcycle, is coming toward you, slow down so we don't get pelleted by sand and rock. Thank you}

Living away from town also brings up the responsibility of electricity, propane, and sewage. You do not have someone that comes out to read your meters. You have to read and send in your own electric meter reading. If you don't, the co-op will send you an estimated bill, you could spend 100's of dollars more for your neglect. Forget to check the propane gauge? You will wake up on a Sunday morning, frozen. If you are lucky and get into a small family ran business, you can get propane on a Sunday morning without being charged extra. Some of the big business won't come out, or charge high "emergency" rates. And yes, we did find out how important it is to check your propane gauge regularly. Sewage is also all yours to love. It doesn't matter what kind of storage facility you have, it is still your responsibility to maintain it. To be pumped or to fix erosion problems. Also, you might want to treat your open lagoons for the smell. It can get rather rank in your house when a wind picks up.

When you first move to your new boonie property. Take a few months to see where your propane and electric people drive on your land before planting anything. And even then there is no guarantee that they will stick to that route, as some of my fellow homesteaders have learned recently. If you have planted something in their way, they will drive over it to do their jobs. My strawberry patch was ran over once, luckily it came back.

When I lived in a little town in the north west of this county, before it turned into a little city. A couple of teenagers were speeding down a paved road, and hit a cow. (see another reason to keep your speed around 45 mph) The teens were hurt rather badly, and the cow walked away. Animals on the loose can be a problem. There are many different reasons why something escapes. And you tend to see more after harsh storms. If you are driving around and you do happen to see livestock, be it pig, goat, cow, sheep, chicken or horse, pull into the closest house you see and inform the owner. They might not own the animal, but they might corral it and they are sure to know the owner. This keeps the livestock safe and drivers safe.

Living away from the towns add different responsibilities to your already long list. But they are important to your safety and your pocketbook. And if you are just driving through, please be courtesy, leave the city driving in the city, and enjoy the country view.


Donna said...

And don't forget to slow down when you meet someone on horseback! And PLEASE don't honk at her!

Celeste said...

And don't just come down our road to throw out you garbage or un wanted animals

Karen said...

My home doesn't quite qualify as the "boonies" as your's does. But we are at the far edge of town, up against farms and greenbelt. We have a lovely creek running through the development, cows and horses from the neighboring farms surrounding us, and the usual wildlife of turantulas, deer, rattlesnakes, wild pigs, wild turkeys and so forth. It's why we love it.

I'm always amazed at the people who chose to move into the neighborhood, then complain about those facets. Uhm, they were here first! Yes the wild pigs tearing out your yard each fall is a bit of a pain, that's why we use sod. Roll it back and stomp it down. :)

And please break for the turkeys. The fowl ones, not the human ones.

Monica said...

While I don't necessarily live in the boonies as there are plenty of neighbors around, we do have a heavily wooded greenbelt behind us. The only wild animals we have here are raccoons who I do slow down for and the neighbor's cat who thinks she still lives here.
We ran out of propane on Friday. I'm not sure if the propane company out here monitors the meter. It's our first time dealing with propane as our old house had natural gas and the company came out, looked at the meter and sent us a bill. So I'm going to make that phone call (not looking forward to it) and learn how to read the meter on the tank. I do know where the tank is located. :)

Phelan said...

oh the hinking! I haven't heard that it a while. Thank you for the reminder Donna. People even honk at cattle they see. It kind of messes with the cows. Yes it is funny to see the cattle running, chasing your car, but they think you are there to feed them.

Celeste, we don't have a trash problem here, so thank you for bringing that up. People do take their big items, like couches and fridges to the river. One good reason to push repurposing. Animals, strays/dumps, don't last too long here. They are eaither shoot for raiding or, in the case of smaller animals, eaten by the coyotes.

Karen, One of the Irish Homesteaders I read, Killi on LJ, said that a woman moved out to the country because it was quieter. That got me laughing. This woman insists on calling animal control on the farmers out there because the livestock makes too much noise and it bother her.

Phelan said...

Good Luck Monica, propane prices are rather high right now. The company that we deal with have us call when we are at 10%. I am relieved to here that you know where the tank is. It makes life so much easier ;)

abbagirl74 said...

I can't believe how much this freakin city is growing. What I don't understand is why and how. The population doesn't seem to be growing and there aren't any major jobs around. Every food business is struggling to find help. I just don't understand all of the growth.

alrescate said...

Yeah, I laugh at people around me who fuss because the deer ate their landscaping plants. Em, how about you just don't plant stuff the deer don't care for? Or better yet, leave your yard natural?

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