Observation: There are two wildly different types of homesteadersgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
This is more of an observation than a question...
Why are there two very different types of homesteaders, either they are very helpful and nice.. you know- shirt off of their own backs types, a lot like you find on this forum...... and the sullen mean nasty types that look at you like you're some kind of baby raper with bad breath when you come around to say hi.
My mile away neighbor is one of the sullen mean types and when I've gone around the area wanting to ask questions about soil types, good food plants to grown up here, septic systems etc, I've met both types, with the nasty in the majority at about a 6 out of 10 ratio. There doesnt seem to be any middle ground either.
I mean.. Im not that bad of a guy (I think), pretty easy to get along with and fairly likable is it something that Im wearing? Usually Im in either sweats or jeans, flannel shirt, and my favorite pair of hiking boots or Im in my uniform BDUs, and they've never seen me in my BDUs.
Some of these people when I walk up look at me like Im there to steal their dog, kick their kids, and pee on their front porch while others invite me in for a cup of coffee and we end chatting about all kinds of things. I've noticed that most (but not all) of the nasty ones have a couple of rotting cars in front of the house, trash all over the place and their house is usually falling apart.
The nice ones generally have somewhat well kept places, the amount of money they have (deduced from their 'steads and whats on it) doesnt seem to matter, its how well kept up their place is that seems to make the differance.
-- Dave (AK) (email@example.com), June 08, 2000
Dave: Can't explain it, but it's like that here, too. Most are nice, but keep to themselves, with a wave or a "howdy" when they see you out. One neighbor put up an electric fence, shoots any animal that happens to cross onto his pasture, and in general acts like you are there to arrest him, or something. Makes me wonder if those types are doing something illegal and expecting trouble from anyone who comes onto their property uninvited. Otherwise, why would someone be suspicious of a neighbor coming by to say hello? Unless you are stopping by in the middle of the night, walking up with a gun in your hand, etc., then you are welcome at my homestead. People just come in all types, I guess. Jan in Colorado
-- Jan B (Janice12@aol.com), June 08, 2000.
Dave I find those, that you describe as "mean", I find have been through some experience that has caused them to be that way! Or they live a lifestyle that has not been on the side of good--but on the side of evil--so they think everyone else lives a crooked life like they do! When we moved into this area we were accepted by not many!!!! As we were those," city folks with more money than brains!" We were those evil "outsiders"! Some of the ones that were "mean acting", I kept being nice to--knocked my self out to do nice things for them, but not always letting them know it was me who did the kind deed! One old guy, I was the only one who took food to him, did his chores when he was sick, etc.--I found out he was a teddy bear-- "unusual" teddy bear--but he had been very mistreated by most of the town--so he kept to himself! The people in this town who do underhanded & mean & not legal things---don't want you to know what they are doing--& live here because it is a small town & rules & laws don't apply here! We so far have not met any, that knock them selves out for you---but I'm waiting to meet one--or have God send one to town!(in the mean time I visit this forum) ha--my hubby is waiting on me so this has to be all of my answer for now--Sonda in ks.
-- Sonda (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 08, 2000.
It's not just homesteaders, Dave...
...it's people in general.
There is little or no pressure in the country to make you be a better person, or to even look like one. It's very much up to the individual, which is humanity in its "raw" form. So, I too have neighbors who will crank out the welcome mat and neighbors who are just plain cranks. When I lived in the 'burbs, it was the same way, but you couldn't have any junk autos on the front lawn. Or garbage. Or "offensive decorations". Or discharge firearms. Or unleashed pets. Or unmowed grass, etc.etc. Things looked a lot more uniform in the 'burbs, but behind closed doors, same old...same old.
-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), June 08, 2000.
Dave, thanks for helping me be grateful of my neighbors this morning. I always tell people that the most valuable thing I have here on this homestead is my neighbors. The rest of the place is pretty old and delapidated.
I sure don't know why some people are nasty, except to say that a lot of people in the country like to be alone, and don't appreciate anyone strolling into their personal space, which for some people is a radius of a couple of miles.
Every neighbor within several miles of me would do me a favor in a heartbeat, God bless 'em!
-- Rachel (email@example.com), June 08, 2000.
Maybe those grumpy folk think you are from the census! Doesn't sound like they are getting too warm a welcome.
-- sheepish (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 08, 2000.
Dave, it may be the area you're living in. ASome places tend to be like that. Northern Idaho has a few of the antisocial types, but I have heard that Alaska is a kind of mecca for folks who just don't fit in anywhere else. How long have you lived there and where did you come from? If you came from California fairly recently, that could explain a few things... Around here, yuppie types are not well liked by the locals. Their well fed dogs run around (free to roam), attack or chase livestock, then when you shoot the dogs they act like you are an evil dog hating creature! They come in here fresh from the city and act like they know everything and like we're the dummies who were born yesterday. An example? They want to know why we cut the ears off our la Mancha goats, why we are taking all the milk and depriving the kids of their food, isn't it cruel to castrate, disbud the kids, I can't think of anything else right now, but city folks can really be a pain when they act that way. I'm not saying you're a city slicker, just that if you look like one, you might get the unfriendly treatment. You could try wearing scruffy clothes that look like you've been working in them,but until you have lived there awhile it will take some time to pick up the local mannerisms. It may just be that you have neighbors who are truly nasty and evil, but chances are that they are leery of outsiders. And long time locals do tend to have junk cars and stuff laying around, maybe because they've lived there long enough to accumulate such stuff. Locals also tend to resent newcomers who come in with a pension or something and don't work, and then run down the way the rest of us are trying to keep our heads above water,and try to pass zoning laws against anything that isn't up to city standards. We try to be friendly to new folks, but if they are the type that want to ride fourwheelers around all the time, and tear up the roads in the spring when all the locals are trying to preserve it by walking a mile or two to their cars,and then they look down on you to boot, well, it's just kind of hard to warm up to folks like that! There are some to come in and want to homestead and raise gardens, and learn about country living, and we are more than happy to give that kind a hand or advice, and to get them started with strawberries, herbs, plum seedlings,etc.
-- Rebekah (email@example.com), June 08, 2000.
Rebecca made the point I was going to. There are a lot of nice people in Alaska, but especially in the bush you will find a lot of people who moved there for the isolation, because they just don't get along well with other people. A lot of them are running from something, and have just run as far as they can go -- and it would be wiser to just leave them alone, because who knows what they did in some past life, and might be capable of doing again? We've had neighbors like that, and learned to give them a wide berth. But even my very law-abiding and peaceful father has threatened Sierra- clubbers and their ilk with being tarred and feathered and given a ride out of town on a rail -- most of Alaska has been made inaccessible to or unusable by the residents because of the rabid environmentalists, and they are fiercely hated in the rural areas. So some people will be very stand-offish until they are sure where you stand on some of those issues. Look for the good ones, cultivate their friendship, and leave the other ones strictly alone!
-- Kathleen Sanderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 08, 2000.
Thanks all, Kathleen you've lived up here before and I was hoping you'd respond, and your answer kinda confirms what I suspected... I've lived in Alaska for 5 years now (except for this year, where I got stuck up in Iceland - 5 months to go!), in Anchorage or Eagle river. Im originally from Portland, Oregon and the service has bounced me all over the planet, when I finally landed in Anchorage I'd finally found a place that "felt" like home and I said to myself, "self - Im home". I intend to live here for the rest of my life and eventually die on my land.
Im certianly no yuppie, though I am a professional and a computer networking administrator. After I retire from the AF I plan on supporting us from an at-home business. I've been a little worried though that I had built my dream home right in the middle of a bunch of wackos and I'd find a dead chicken voodoo doll on my front porch one morning. Basically Im planning on doing what you suggested cultivate the friendly ones and ignoring the rest and doing my best not torque off my neighbors-as long as they leave me alone too. You're right about the misfits tho, thats okay IM a misfit and the only place I've ever felt comfortable is in Alaska.
I really wish I had some of YOU as my neighbors tho
-- Dave (AK) (email@example.com), June 08, 2000.
Well, Every vehicle we own runs and I'm a neat freak about the yard and house but I am going to "EYE' you to death if you arrive unannounced ! My number is listed and even my mother calls before coming over. "Dropping by" is very rude ! What I'm trying to fiqure out when I stare at you is--Did your mother bother to teach you any manners ? What kind of crap are you selling ? or What alphabet soup government agency sent you to die and did they even bother to warn you who I am ? You have to understand that even the local sheriff wouldn't come by without a phone call. Truth is--I am jaded by life. It has made me suspicious of everyone. I don't trust but a few people and your not one of them. I'm not interested in what your selling. All my goods are spoken for. I can spot Federal issue suits and shoes at 500 yards and smell the Brylcreem from 5000 ! Now what was it you risk dying to ask me ? Oh Yeah--Dirt conditions. Dusty when dry and Muddy when wet. Couldn't we have handled that on a telephone ?
-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), June 08, 2000.
I have to agree with Joel. Everyone who knows me knows my rule "if you didn't bother calling, don't bother knocking" I'm not mean nor anti-social, but my home is my palace, not the "dew drop inn".
-- Sue (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 08, 2000.
I have to disagree. How is a new neighbor supposed to know your names, Joel and Sue, to look it up in the phonebook? Maybe you could treat people nicely UNTIL you find out their business. If it is a new neighbor,then TELL them your preferences such as next time call before dropping by. No one can read minds. My home is also my castle, but a little kindness goes a long way and works wonders. Helen
-- Helen (Bluechicken@wildbearnet.net), June 09, 2000.
I know that people have built out here to be left alone, thats the same reason that I did. I expected a certian amount of suspicion when I would drive up until I introduced myself and explained what I was doing there. So Im friendly and polite and usually introduce myself with something like this
"Hi, sorry to bug you, my name is Dave and Im building the homestead off of milemarker 122 (pointing in the general direction). If you've got a spare moment or two I was hoping to introduce myself and maybe ask about the area and what I can expect things to be like come winter"
Then if I got past that I would ask about how many cords of wood they used, how much fuel a month in the generator, do they have trouble with their septic tank and drainfield freezing, etc.
If they'd said "dont have time to talk" or "maybe later, Im kinda busy right now" I'd have understood that. What I didnt expect though was the waves of hostility and variations of "piss off" I got hit with even after I said hi. One guy just stared at me without a single word, I stood there for a good 90 seconds until I shrugged my shoulders and said "okaaay then" and went back to my truck.
I know I would never be that rude to a unexpected visitor, even if I didnt like them. Im even polite to the Jehovas Witness pests that come around in town now and again.
I built out here to get away from rude and pushy people, looks like you're right Craig, its more of the same only worse, except we're spread out far enough to where we usually cant see each others houses
-- Dave (AK) (email@example.com), June 09, 2000.
I see your point but why not approach me in public ? Or better yet, let me approach you in public--the country store,fairs, fund raisers, or church picnics. I'm polite. Many people are just plain nosey and I have no time for them. I get along well with all my neighbors except that land raping scum of a realator and he is leaving. I just met my newest one yesterday at Custer's store. He moved in 1 year ago. He said " I'm John, this is my wife and these are my kids." They are coming for supper Sunday. I hope you can see the proper way he conducted himself. He gave me a proper window of time to watch him and see if I wanted to know him. He walked right passed rumour and wanted to meet me. Now we have some common ground. Invasive Intrusion is sign of bad manners and a bad trait of what I left society at large for. My name is on the mailbox and I'm in the book if you need to call me. Bobby Custer knows everyone and is also a good person to ask for an introduction. One more thing--Leave everything you think,believe or feel at the highway until they are ask for--the America you know stops abrubtly at the ditch line. Here, it is my way or the highway and your welcome to either one.
-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), June 09, 2000.
Hi Dave, When my husband and I moved back here to N. WI I was shocked to find that it wasn't what I remembered. I grew up here and remembered all the friends and neighbors of my parents and grandparents. What I found was "rude, crude, and proud of it". Slowly we met good people and actually discovered that some of the crude ones were just rough around the edges and really good people. The good ones also usually have family and stick closely to them. Give them time, watch to see who you can relate to like Joel says, and you will, in time, find like-minded people. Unfortunately, you will probably have to prove yourself. We've been here 14 years now and sometimes shiver when we think how well we fit in and how much like everyone else we have turned out to be!!
-- Peg (NW WI) (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 09, 2000.
Interesting cross-section of anwers. My situation is a bit unique as I live in an Amish neighborhood and none of my neighbors have phones! So, dropping in is the immediate form of communication. But, there are social norms to follow. A child with a note usually means someone needs something later in the week. A teenager or wife with a loaf of bread or pie means something tomorrow. A man showing up means something today and we'll barter for services. And anyone vaulting the pasture fence on a dead run means NOW. But, just like the telephone, I can still say "yes" or "no". It's just that I'm a sucker for fresh cherry pie :) You can't get that in a phone call.
So, Sue and Joel, I can understand your positions. It took time for me to sort out who I wanted to have contacts with. The neighbors needed time to get to know me and vise-versa.
-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), June 09, 2000.
Craig, now I'm jealous. I would welcome kids w/notes, loaves of bread, or a man vaulting over my fence!
-- Rachel (email@example.com), June 09, 2000.
Perhaps some of the grumps are embarassed about the state of their place. I'm know I'm a lot less comfortable with unexpected visitors when the house is a mess than when it's in some kind of order (which is a rare & major undertaking.) Remember that when someone is on their own, their focussed on the work at hand and not mentally aimed at social interaction, and sometimes it takes a few minutes to get over the sense of being interrupted. It used to be in Pakistan where I used to live, that hardly anyone had a phone, so the only way you expected to be contacted was for people to drop in unannounced. Or if they had a phone, probably YOU didn't, which puts you in the same situation. You got so used to it, that even when both of you had phones, you still would drop in on each other unannounced. It was almost a statement of how close you were. Phones are getting much more common there now, but still when I visit there, my first instinct is to just go over to someone's house, not call ahead. Phones are often out of order anyhow. It is much more human, more natural, but we have gotten out of that habit...it's another sign of how feeble our communal consciousness has become. Don't get shot now, y'hear?...
-- snoozy (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 09, 2000.
Just gotta say, different strokes, etc. Maybe the way SOME of us wer raised differs from the way others of us were raised. Maybe it's a regional thing, or a country/city issue, or maybe a combination of all of them. Whatever. I personally love it when a friend comes over unannounced, and I don't think it's bad manners in any way. I consider it a sign that they feel close enough to me to know that I'm not going to glare at them, or any of the other mean responses I have seen posted here. If it's a stranger, on the other hand, I am generally wary at first, until I know what their trip is, then decide. Nowadays, though, I figure anyone arriving unannounced had better be a friend, because there is an electrically operated gate at the bottom of our shared driveway.
-- jumpoff joe (email@example.com), June 09, 2000.
I personally hate to use the phone! I don't know why. I've always been that way. It just seems rude to bother a person with an impersonal object like a phone. Nine times out of ten I'm busy and I hate trying to talk on the phone and finish my task at the same time. If someone drops in they can either help me, sit and converse while I work or we can arrange another time. It means more to me that they wanted to visit enough that they made the effort to leave their comfortable home and come visit. Since I know this approach bothers so many other people, I either phone ahead or (this is what generally happens because I hate to phone) I never meet them. I know I'm in the minority. It's great that on this forum there is such a wide variety of people.
-- Cheryl Cox (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 09, 2000.
People are always welcome in my home. They might not like what they see if they don't call first. The only people unwelcome are government beaurocrats trying to get in my business. Other than that I have an open door policy. I enjoy having people drop by for a visit.
Little Bit Farm
-- Little bit Farm (email@example.com), June 09, 2000.
I sure don't mind drop in visitors, they are usually friends that we are happy to see. But when my dad moved out here ( to Idaho) from the midwest where he was raised, he and his wife were quite taken aback by the habit their friends and aquaintances had of just showing up without calling. They thought it was really rude and that the west was more roughhewn and lacking in manners and refinement. I don't see what the big deal is- I much rather be pleasantly surprised by a visitor than to have to run all the way from the garden or goat barn trying to answer the phone, only to reach it just as the caller quit trying! I have to say however, that I would never move into a new place around here and just go around introducing myself to every neighbor in the way you described. It would mark me as a newcomer, and a peculiar one,too. Far better to get on friendly terms with a few locals and have them introduce you at social gatherings and such. It's better to have at least met a person once before trying to drop in on them like that.
-- Rebekah (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 09, 2000.
Dave -- I think the difference is actually not two types of homesteaders, but the difference between homesteaders and recluses. The area I grew up in was very similar. We had neighbors who felt that in bettering their neighbors lot, they bettered their own -- much the way my parents raised us kids. I think it's the original social democracy -- I can't be successful if my neighbors (and my neighbors children) are going without.
However, there seemed to be an equal sprinkling of "recluses" -- folks who lived out of the way in a rural area, not for the healthy lifestyle and personal values, but because it was as far as they could get away from other people and still complain about taxes.
I do agree with others who said that it's people in general -- you just seem to notice it a lot more in the country, where folks tend to rely on each other a little more.
-- Tracy (email@example.com), June 09, 2000.
I found Craig's letter to be refreshingly funny. Yes, I understand and all those things are acceptable also. My wife is a nurse and anyone with a medical emergency is welcome !! (charging over the fence) The hospital is 35 miles and we are here to help. I guess I'm pretty lazy in the evenings when I get home-- sit in my robe and relax ---I don't really want to put on more clothes and deal with strangers. I don't consider the kids' friends or their families intrusive. It's that SUV or Crown Victoria Ford that all newcomers drive that has me with one hand the AK and the other motioning my family to the house.
-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), June 09, 2000.
When we moved from the Portland metropolitan area to Alaska I quickly decided I was living on another planet. It made the adjustment much easier. Our son who had preceded us said you know there are many people here who are living on the edge!!!!!! So welcome to your new adventure where nothing is like it was before you moved here!!!!!!Let's see it takes us about ll cords of wood per year, generator gas depends upon your generator and how many hours you run it. If you live where I thnk you are;, you are in pretty much bush country and that will involve many adventures and learning situations. Feel free to email us directly if you wish. Have you come face to face with any of the wildlife(animals that is) yet. If you haven't already, try to borrow Alaskana books from the Noel Wein Library in Fairbanks for historical references and help. God's blessings, Norma Lucas in DJ
-- Norma Lucas (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 09, 2000.
Norma is right -- Alaska is another planet!! That's why it took me a while to adjust to living down here -- I still don't like everything about it, but when in Rome, you know . . . I don't mind having people drop by, even new neighbors, though like snoozy I would prefer to have time to make sure my house is in good order! I do get tired of having to give directions to people who are lost or turned around - - we are only one mile from an interstate, and are frequently the only people home on our whole road during the day -- at least with a house that is visible from the road. But I certainly wouldn't be going out to meet them with a gun in my hand!!
-- Kathleen Sanderson (email@example.com), June 10, 2000.
OK, Dave - advice from another Sourdough! Problem is that Cheechakos in Alaska are like yuppies in the lower 48. (Difference in capatilaziation intended). We lived in AK for 7 wonderful years, then migrated to the south (Maine). This all at the insistence of the USCG, and we decided (barely) to retire to Maine rather than go "home" to Alaska. Maine "ain't" exactly a mecca for "those from away"! We've been here in this small town for over 20 years, and are pretty well accepted, but then I am an old line character who shares the morals and independent outlook of the locals. I'm active in local politics, and "fit" with the local folks as to what we want from "Uncle Despicable Bill"! Dave - get out of the big city! Anchorage is Denver, Seattle, Biloxi, Annapolis, or San Diego, but just a little further north! Want to experience the real Alaskan adventure? Go to Ketchikan (my favorite) or Juneau, or Sitka. If you are really adventuras, try Wrangell, or Petersburg, or maybe Belle Island. There, you will find really great folks. Problem is - you wanted the ability to grow stuff in Matanuska, and that is pretty much unavailavle elsewhere. Want to grow stuff? Move south. Want the best folks in Alaska? Move to Southeast! (Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan Chambers of Commerce - e- mail for directions on where to send checks). GL to all!
-- Brad (Homefixer@SacoRiver.net), June 10, 2000.
Dave, Those aren't homesteaders they are REDNECKS!! They're in every state of the union and it is best to stay away from them. Please not everone who lives in the country and grows a garden is a homesteader. karen
-- Karen Mauk (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 11, 2000.
Hmm, I guess I'm a redneck then. Lots of junk cars. Little short on junk appliances in the yard at the moment. But I can get more. Buildings need endless repairs and painting.
However, if you're not selling something (and that includes religion) you're welcome to stop by. If the lack of paint bothers you either shut up, leave, or ask for a paint brush. Much the same for anything else that bothers visitors. We've rolled out at all hours of the day and night to fish vehicles from ditches with the tractor. I keep an atlas handy to help get the lost back to where they want to be-and on a couple of occasions have had to get in my car and lead some folks 20 or 30 miles to get them where they were going but were too upset to cope any longer. I can't even begin to count how many people we've helped along the roads around here. Sometimes they just need some pushing or some digging, other times they need a ride home, to the sheriff's office (they're set up to get indigents food and shelter), or brought them here until the storm passed.
Around here, our place stands out like a sore thumb. To be honest, you're a lot more likely to get help from us then from all the "nice" ones with well kept farmsteads. And if we want any money for what we're doing, we'll discuss it with you FIRST, not demand it afterwards. Generally we won't even accept money for what we do. Maybe if we didn't waste time helping folks we'd have more time to pick up around here. Gerbil
-- Gerbil (email@example.com), June 11, 2000.
Brad, come on! Southeast Alaska is beautiful-- hubby and I met at college in Sitka, and have been all over Southeast -- but Ketchikan gets 200 inches of rain a year! Sitka gets about 80-100 inches. Juneau and Haines are better, but land is SO expensive -- almost every speck of land is in the National Forests, so what few specks are left are outrageously priced. Juneau is the third most expensive place to live in the whole country!! (We were there for six months while hubby worked as an EMT-II for Greens Creek Mine in 1990). About the only way to live in Southeast anymore would be if you lived on a boat!! (Which we've been tempted to do at times -- but it's hard to have a garden or keep farm animals that way!!) When were you in Alaska? And did you know there is a Coast Guard LORAN station at Tok -- 300 miles inland?!?
-- Kathleen Sanderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 11, 2000.
By the way, Karen, some of the people Dave was talking about are probably rednecks, others are just good old common criminals hiding out -- guess they don't realize you are much more conspicuous in a low-population area! There was a fellow in Tok for years -- he may be back there now -- actually a very nice fellow (we got the mother of our beloved old cat from him) who paints beautiful pictures. He sells some pictures, but was also working at one of the small businesses in town, and always carried a gun. Well, one day he pulled it on someone who was being obnoxious at the business (acting as a sort of bouncer, which was part of his job but not with the gun!) and the police were called in. Of course they had to run a check, and turned out the fellow had a warrant out for him in California. I believe he served two years and came back, because everybody liked him (including the police officer!) and told him he could come back, but the thing is, a lot of people who are running from something aren't nearly so nice to have around!!
-- Kathleen Sanderson (email@example.com), June 11, 2000.
I don't think anyone has mentioned the people like me who just plain like to be by themselves and don't want people dropping over unexpectedly. I'm not running from anything or anyone but I like being in the country because I don't want my neighbors' life to dictate mine, i.e. which radio station I have to listen to while they wash their car, what time their party is over so I can go to sleep and where I can park my car because their friends are in my driveway. I am not antisocial. I work in Washington, D.C. and deal with people all day long during the week but when I come home I want peace and quiet and to be left alone, hubby excepted of course.
I have friends who have shared interests like quilting, canning, gardening, etc. but we call each other or e-mail when we want to get together at their house or mine and that is the way I like it.
Since I am gone most of the week day, my evenings and weekends are the only time I can do the things I love and I don't want to have unexpected interruptions that keep me from doing those things. There is a lot to do and I don't want to waste a minute of time.
I, too, believe a friend should call first out of courtesy. Otherwise it is saying their time/objective is more important than mine. I was raised that this is impolite to do. Once I moved out of my parents' house I even called them before I stopped by even though I knew they were always home and were pleased to have me drop by. I am just not comfortable with invading someone's personal space. Nor did I assume that my parents had to drop everything because I was their child. They too deserve courtesy.
Maybe if I were home all day and didn't see people very often I would feel differently but given the fact that I deal with people most of the week, I'm kind of tired of it by the end.
I won't greet you with a gun if you show up but neither will I invite you into my home if I'm not expecting you. It depends on my mood at the moment. (Course then again, with eight great danes in my house, not too many people are interested in coming in once they hear the barking. LOL)
My husband and I both feel this way, although my husband probably is even a little stronger about it then I am. We are friends with the neighbors on one side and help each other with work. We let them graze their horses on our pasture because we don't use it yet and they use their tractor to help us plow up our garden, etc., etc. The neighbor on the other side however, while they are nice people in general, one of their sons is a real pain to us, i.e. shooting real arrows into our yard, mistreats their animals, etc., we have made an agreement with them to have them stay on their side of the fence and we will stay on ours. (I was concerned that if this kid killed one of our dogs, my husband would kill their kid so I figured this was the best solution for an intolerable situation. Too long a story to go into now.)
So while I can be neighborly, it depends on the neighbor.
Just because someone does not welcome you with open arms, doesn't mean there is something wrong with them. Some people just like to be by themselves. Sometimes I think people who are afraid to be alone are actually afraid of the company they would be in.
Just thought I would give a different perspective.
-- Colleen (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 12, 2000.
we have the great fortune of living on a dead end road surrounded by property that is either owned by city folks that show up on an occasional weekend, or a state preserve that is accessed from the other side of the county. it is so rare that we get visitors, that we are excited if we ever hear a car on the road. our dogs give us the two minute warning (often a false alarm) when anyone is coming down the road, so we can wash the dirt off our hands an put on our shirts. our weekend neighbors drop in when they are here, and they are all nice people and help us keep our vehicles running, bring us leftovers for the pigs, and we watch their places in return.
i would say that around here, most people are not homesteaders. there are a lot of mid-sized farmers, many of whom don't even grow their own food. they keep their cows in big smelly barns and never let them out to graze. more efficient , i guess... but pretty sad. i wonder if they can enjoy the beef that they buy in the supermarket after living with that?
anyway, if you are in the neighbor hood, and are daring enough to get down the hill to our house, feel free to drop by....
-- john houser (email@example.com), June 13, 2000.