Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter Thoughts

Finally (finally!) our tiny town has a tiny market. What was supposed to happen in 6 weeks took nearly 6 months and of course, all the groceries are priced too high, but hey... When you live in the center of the boonies, you accept that. And are grateful. I mean, all these months our town has not sold one fresh fruit or vegetable and now? How amazing to not have to drive 9 miles for a banana.

Oh, I loved this quote about winter over at Aunt Amelia's blog:

"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself." ~Ruth Stout

Makes a person view winter a whole other way, doesn't it? Always, I've valued my privacy and I must confess, there's much about myself (and my beliefs) I don't share with you here. (I totally understand now why some movie stars appear rabid about protecting their privacy.) And it also explains, in part, why I'm ecstatic about creating my Secret Garden behind our barn--I'll not be so visible while I work.

Honestly, I don't appreciate being watched. I'd hoped to have more privacy out here in the country, but alas, I don't. This example pretty much sums it up: Just fifteen minutes after a large tractor-like-thing with a post hole digger was delivered to start building our new garage last October, our neighbor from across the street came over. He told me (Tom wasn't home) that he and _____ saw the post hole digger and they hoped we weren't putting in a fence for animals. Because I knew exactly where he was going with this I told him (a tad testily), "No, we're not. We're just building a garage."

He went on to explain what I already knew--the previous owners had raised sheep and many neighbors had complained, they'd had to sell some sheep, cart others to their new home........ yada, yada, yada. I told him we are in contact with the previous owners and we know all about the sheep fiasco. He said he knew it wasn't any of his business (you can imagine what I wanted to say to that), but he and ____ just didn't want us to put in a fence , buy animals, then have to undo the whole thing. They didn't want to see us lose all that money.

Argh. When he left, I was inwardly fuming. The post hole digger had only been beside our barn for 15 minutes! Suddenly it felt like the whole neighborhood stands at their windows 24/7 eyeing us. I felt like, "Please! Can't Tom and I be allowed our God-given freedom to make our own mistakes? Can't we be given some credit now that he's 51 and I'm 49? Can't we live here without feeling like our quasi parents live across the street?

I know, I know......Pride, pride, pride. But still...... some of you understand exactly what I mean. I hope so, anyway.

So, returning to that winter quote--at least now in January we have privacy. Well, here inside our house where most of our Winter Life takes place. Outside where I shovel snow and feed the birds there's less privacy because of all those naked trees out there. But in here? In here there's a whole other world, a cozy winter world, and I'm thankful for it.


"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands..." 1 Thessalonians 4:11


jodi said...

When I was growing up - in the 60's and 70's (somewhere near where you live now) the family that lived next door to us provided endless interest. Drugs were sold, houses and businesses were robbed, alcoholism and a fire in the house. 2 years after the fire the drapes in the livingroom still had yet to be cleaned. I think that my parents would have preferred to live next door to sheep!!

Can you put up a fast growing hedge or tree line between you and the neighbors? We have woods between us and two neighbors. I'm not sure that anyone realizes that I raise honeybees yet.

Elizbeth said...

I completely understand what you are saying. I also value my privacy.
I love the quote!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Oh, Debra, I'm sorry you have neighbors possessed of such an unfortunate combination of curiosity and unwisdom (is that a word? It's certainly a true condition!)

I only have an acre and a half here in Ohio, and less than that in NY, but both properties have shrubs and trees growing along the fence lines....No totally in NY, but pretty much.......And most of it I was able to do myself by finding "volunteers" on the property and moving them to where I wanted them to be. No expense, but some elbow grease. Paul was European and they do tend to enclose their yards and value their property more....

Jan said...

It'll never happen. Privacy in the country is unheard of. Everybody knows everybody else's business. You better off in a great big city bumping people day in and day out. There no one knows who you are or even cares!
As for your store. It won't stay in business if you don't frequent it. It's prices only reflect it's cost and running a small store is expensive. If you want the convenience you 've got to pay the price..with a smile as well.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Oops! I meant Europeans value their privacy more! Sorry.

nancyr said...

I discovered, when we bought a tiny cottage on a lake in South Texas, that neighbors are very curious about the new people in the area. They weren't being nosy but were just interested in who we were and what we were doing. Some of the retired men would always stop to chat if they saw my husband outside. One came over, one rainy day, to ask us over for coffee and cake, and to meet his wife. We loved that everyone was so friendly. Where we live, now, the people are not friendly and you are lucky if they wave back, if you wave at them in passing.
I prefer the country people, they make better neighbors.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean and my heart will be with you.

Karen said...

The commenter who said there is more privacy in the city was right. Out in the country, everyone wants to know what everyone else is up to, and for some reason, feels that they have a right to know. I'm not sure why that is even though we are both "country people". We used to joke about it. We'd be outside working on something and Ken would say, in a high-pitched voice, "Abner? Abner! Look what they're doing NOW! Abner! You're not going to believe it!" as if a busy-body wife somewhere was watching us out her window and relating all our activities to her husband.

That quote from 1 Thes. could be my life verse. I am much of a "live and let live" type of person.