I stood there in the road. He had plenty of space to just go on, but I stood boldly, camera around my neck. He stopped. I'm figuring, here we are, no beating around the bush.
I said something. Who knows quite what. Something like "Where are you taking that," referring to his pick up which was fully of siding. He said something back, something like, "What business is it of yours?" At some point I told him that I was a nosy neighbor and he said, squinting his eyes, that I sure was. I fingered the siding, bent it actually, and asked, "Is that aluminum, because if it is you can sell it for a pretty penny. If it isn't, and you are going up the road that way, you better not be dumping it illegally."
Well, it was longer, and more of a dance, there was a lot more all to it than that. But I freaked him out and made him mad. We've reported several illegal dumps, and to the county's credit, they've been cleaned up.
I'm very sorry, but people are just, by and large, stupid. This is why, sometimes, some of us lose hope. I'll stay in my neighborhood. And I'll preface it by saying that we've had three neighbors who have NOT been stupid, so they aren't all like this. One died, one sold at the height of the real estate run up and moved to town, and one lives here still albeit part time. Also, much to my relief, most stupid neighbors don't actually last all that long, so you won't hear about the doctor who moved out here only to decide he really didn't like the country, or the Raytheon yankee who couldn't live here without the overpaid job (or, worse, his mother-in-law).
And you know, I've thought about, what if you, stupid neighbors, actually see yourself in this post? In photos actually? Well, sorry.
So, first up is the neighbor who has never lived here but who periodically (sometimes only every three or four years) comes to mow, or cut something down, and put up some ribbon to hallucinate over a cabin. His latest stupid thing?
This. A fence around a thorn tree. Evidently he thinks some apple tree that he planted some time a long time ago has survived and that this thorn tree is it. I went and looked at this for a really long time. I imagined that, yes, maybe one could look at the bark down low and think maybe it looked like apple bark if one did the un-focus one's eyes bit, but how did he miss the thorns? Or the fact that it doesn't grow like an apple tree. Or that it has no apples, ever. Sigh. His strong point as a neighbor? We almost never see him.
Then there is this one.
Like that? The photos of course cannot do any of this justice. This house was once owned by our best neighbor ever. But he was getting older and his kids worried about him and he gave in and has regretted it ever since. Lawd, let me die here I say. Anyway, it went through several owners thereafter and these latest idiots have lasted longer than most. Long enough to do this:
Yes, that is right, they mowed down a steep hillside of trees. They didn't log it; there was no log-able timber there. They hired three different "guys" to do it, and the last guys left this equipment.
Want to bet it is stolen? The "logs" are, as you can see, stacked up and rotting. These people are paranoid about someone stealing from them, thus the equipment placed on top. Never mind the piles of them they burned. Ok, then they overstocked the cattle and didn't feed them and didn't seed the hillside and this is what they have created. When they finally do crap out (for eventually their source of money will run out and they will go -- unlike us, they cannot live here without an unending input of cash), this will grow up first in blackberries. Give it about a hundred years, maybe two, to recover the soil that used to be on it.
See why I get mad?
Of course, that's not all. There's the water slide (roughly the same angle as the night photo above).
Remember, a wonderful wild creek flows just outside their house and completely through their property. But that wasn't good enough. They cut down the big pretty maple in the front yard and then scalped it, covered it in black plastic, and put in what we call the water slide. Of course, they don't pump enough water to actually flow over the stones.
see the coyote? They did have a bear (a real one) but blamed the damage he caused on humans. If they saw a real Indian, they'd mess themselves in a stinky manner. I'm enough to drive them to distraction for goodness sakes. So, the creek isn't good enough, the wildlife isn't good enough, the stars themselves are not good enough but plastic (or concrete or nylon) crap is.
Sigh. Roll eyes. Say I'm sorry a million times to that hillside they raped.
Now we come to the most troublesome one. This house has only recently been sold and vacated. It is built on a cabin that is over 100 years old. It has been abused.
The guy who bought it didn't even know any of that. He just started cutting stuff down. To "clean out the creek" seems to be a major goal of stupid people. Creeks, people, need to grow up with stuff -- it protects the creek. Then he tore out all the fences. Then he said he wants to put horses there. Without fences. Yep. He lives away from here and hires people to do stuff when he is not here. Like clean out the fields.
See? Important work, yes. Getting rid of that fringe that again is so important to wildlife and that, if you kept livestock would be moved back naturally anyway.
The guy is a used car salesman and evidently doesn't plan on getting his fingernails dirty with work on the place. When did we, as a country, as a society, decide that everyone deserved opulence without having to do anything? This translates (by me) into, he's borrowing every penny he's paying people and I just hope he doesn't tear the place down before he declares bankruptcy. His FIL wants him to tear down the cabin and put in a doublewide. Yeah, a piece of plastic crap or a piece of americana? Whadayathink?
On the surface, he claims to be "just like us" -- a family wanting to live out. But he isn't just like us if he doesn't want to work, and I can assure you from having watched him sit on his duff, he doesn't. He isn't going to. You couldn't make him. He claims to want a place to raise his daughters but if they did get here, he'd be taking them here and there into town, or be horrified if he couldn't. He says he wants to raise stuff, improve the place.
Well, buddy (and everyone else in the whole and entire world), when you don't think that "cleaning the place up" is done by cutting nice alive stuff down, come talk to me. Until then, you are just another one of those horrible warnings.
All these stupid people have something in common: lives that require steady and substantial injections of cash. They aren't willing to do things for themselves, or live smaller. And there's a constant external viewpoint they have for themselves; a standard to maintain.
People can live however they want to. But some choices kill us. I have a friend dying of a rare form of leukemia most likely caused because she dyed her hair for years and years. Bad choice. The choice to cut things down and say that is cleaning up is just wrong. The sense of entitlement to a very opulent lifestyle is killing everything; it is killing us with maladies from obesity to purposelessness.
And every now and then I get mad at it. Generally I don't write about it. But at some point, people have to stop being stupid, making stupid choices.
Ok. Well. I want to sooth myself now, and maybe you too, with photos of good stuff.
Supper, the veggies (except for carrots) out of the garden (potatoes, turnips, squash).