New Neighbor

So the other day:

In the morning, while I was working on the laptop, I heard the dogs kicking up hell outside and I went out to see what was going on. They were way down the road, off into the woods on one side of a ravine. On the other side of the ravine was a guy with a rifle and 3 dogs.

I shouted out questions while yelling at my dogs to keep them away from him. They’ll fight other dogs, and possibly bite people.

Turns out he bought the house and acreage that is a bit less than a mile away as the crow flies. He was out looking for coyotes he had heard the night before.

He’d lived there since March, but I’d never seen him because there are no roads that go from here to there, you have to walk through the woods. He has a road, but it comes out somewhere else, and I don’t even know where.

I went back to the cabin with my dogs. He showed up at the door, without his dogs, about a half hour later, and I went outside and we talked while the dogs barked from inside.

He seemed like a pretty decent guy, clean, strong, and in his thirties. Got out of the Army as a Staff Sergeant after 12 years and 2 tours in Iraq. On partial disability and he mentioned quietly that PTSD was part of the reason he got out.

We talked for close to an hour while he smoked cigarettes and I chewed tobacco. He carried a sidearm on his hip, and he’s married to a gal and they homeschool a nine year old girl. They raise chickens, goats, and rabbits. Many of the rabbits he lets run wild, but they always come home to eat and he catches one whenever he needs one. We talked about butchering chickens, beehives, solar power, firewood, the sawmill, the tractor.

I told him I have a good canoe that he can borrow next spring if he wants. He said he has a lot of stuff he can trade for if I need it. They had a good garden going last summer.

They are just folks like me, who wanted to get away from all the people and traffic and crime, and live a simple life off grid. And if the end of the world comes, they’ll be prepared for it.

They seem to be tough people. He said his house is more like a shed, and he needs to do a lot of work to it. He asked me about my well – because he doesn’t have one and he wants to have one drilled. At present, he drives a 450 gallon water tank to the Fire Dept and fills it up and he keeps it outside.

I said, “How are you going to keep it from freezing when it gets cold in a few weeks?”

He smiled and said simply, “Yeah.”

He didn’t expect me to be able to help him or tell him what to do, he just knew that it’s a challenge that he will overcome, and he would figure it out.

So, it was a good day!

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