opps, sorry for that sharp note, I am not known for my singing abilities.
Laura H left me a comment yesterday about how she thinks the neighbors might think she is a little crazy. I got a giggle out of that one. No, I wasn't laughing at her, I was laughing with her, even if she isn't laughing now. When I first started this venture, I discovered that the neighbors liked to talk about us. First it was because of the biker status we have. People here were scared of us or more likely the misconceptions of the biker lifestyle. One of my neighbors confessed a few years later that when we moved in, and saw all those bikes in our driveway, she panicked and called her brother. Her brother informed her that having bikers in the neighborhood was a good thing, because their neighborhoods have low crime rates. ( this is because of that biker lifestyle misconception, and people tend to be frightened by them). This neighbor and I became good friends, until her husband died at 45 of lung cancer and her large property became too much for her to handle alone.
Shortly after we moved in, our neighbors to the east abruptly moved out, then the good neighbor to our west was gone. We had 2 abandon homes on either side of us. It was a little worrisome come high summer when prairie fire can rage out of control and here we had properties on either side not being maintained. In a strange way we felt like we had some how caused these people to leave. 3 years went by and we got a new neighbor to our east. He turned out to be a great guy and a good friend, but he still would look at us like we were slightly off. And it had been years since I had purple hair! Then the good neighbor returned, and we slowly got to know him. He thinks along the same lines we do.
We began homesteading while the properties were still empty. Our garden flourished and I was forced into learning how to can. Although hot, was actually simple. Next came the chickens, and that had us sticking out like a sore thumb. We were the only ones to have something besides horses here. The good neighbor had chickens before he mysteriously vanished, they disappeared as well. We were alone here with the chicken having. We gathered eggs and soon I was butchering my own. Then came the ducks and the turkey. We did this out in the open, where any of the neighbors could see. One of the families down the road no longer allows their child to play here.
We brought home the goats. This isn't a strange one for the neighbors. Many people have them as they keep the grass down around the lagoons. But bringing donkey home got a lot of attention. He made so much noise, that we had everyone talking about what it could be. Suddenly there was a flurry of activity here after my husband was laid off. We discovered people were watching and talking as we put up the fencing, got the tractor going and began a garden that people could actually see. Cars have slowed down and even have stopped to look at the huge greens that are popping up in my garden.
Along the way we have known that people gossip, that people whisper about us. A door to door sales man confirmed this a few years back, by telling me that the neighbors had told him all about us. Are we really that odd? Apparently so, at least back then. Our good neighbor got into the bee act with us, he too wants a cow as does our neighbor to the east. The neighbor across the road is gardening and setting up a huge chicken coop and wants me to teach her what I know. A neighbor down the way came over and took a tour of our 'stead. She was one of them that would look at me oddly whenever I talked about homesteading, but now she has a goat, and looking at chickens and a cow. She wants an orchard and is working on preserving her garden.
The normal world does indeed look at us like we are crazy, until they see that it actually works and we don't spend as much money as they do and get better quality things for all our work.
Yes, yes indeed I have been having many many bad days, that is the reason I brought it up yesterday. It wasn't just one funk day, it has been weeks of more then just heartache. I go through many funky days without tattling on myself, but once and awhile you have to voice your concerns to get it out, even if everyone finds you crazy for saying it. This lifestyle can really get to you. And it isn't always easy to suck it up and deal. There is support out there so you don't feel so lonely, but sometimes it takes years of neighbors talking about you and looking at you funny before that support arrives.
Thank you for your comments yesterday. I am grateful that you all care. And those that wish for me to suck it up, well I do more times then not, but for my blog to be true, to be able to talk about what it is like to live on a homestead I need to mention the good, the bad and the horrible.
Homesteaders are a crazy bunch, but what is happening in the world is what we have been training for (even if we never thought of it in those terms). I have turned the news off ( you need to go talk to my mother about what I was raised around, her and her weirdo college friends to understand this obsession, Marxism anyone? oh, I still love ya mom)
oh, and. . .
She isn't missing. She's at the farm right now. ~Ed Gein ~giggle~