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March 15, 2018: Neighbors

There are times when I wish that we lived in a neighborhood like the one we lived in when we were in Fairbanks. We lived in a cul-de-sac, along with at least a dozen or so other individuals who shared similar values. Most were environmentalists and had respect for one another and the land. We’d often all get together for potlucks – and we all dropped in on one another frequently. Back then, I didn’t know that I would most likely never again live in what I would call a real community.

This neighborhood wasn’t a matter of happenstance. The owner of the land, and his father, Sean and Bert McGuire, built and rented out a half dozen or so cabins, and to like-minded people. Unfortunately,

Sean lacked foresight – his renters moved and then purchased their own places. He should have sold them the cabins they were occupying. He did not.

We left Fairbanks so first I, and then Pete, could become over-educated. A few hop, skip, and jumps and we ended up here, outside of Palmer, on Oceanview Road. It’s a nice place in terms of the scenery – as for our neighbors – happenstance has dictated that living here can be a mixed bag.

The properties in this particular cul-de-sac are off the grid. We, and a few others, are here because we enjoy living simply and in a resourceful fashion. Others are here for a variety of reasons. Some inherited property. Some are semi-squatting. Some are too poor to go elsewhere. And some are stuck in their ways and therefore don’t see moving as an option.

Most of the landowners are white and male. There are only about six females in the hood, and I seldom see them around. There are days when I would give anything to have one stop by unexpectedly for a cup of tea. I doubt this is going to happen.

We are lucky in that the people who own the property across the road, behind us, and on both sides are all cool yet seldom around. This has provided us with a much-welcomed buffer zone.

Few do as we do and get out and walk the loop. Rather, they drive their cars and trucks to and fro. It has taken quite a while, but most now slow down when they see us with the horses. Right now it’s a little more dangerous because we’ve gotten a lot of snow and have berms that obstruct vision.

Today, when out riding the loop, the horses and I had to deal with a snowmobile, painted black, parked at a driveway’s edge, next to the road. Raudi, who I was ponying off Tinni, skittered around it. Then, on Oceanview, coming back in the direction of our place, they had to deal with a Junker car, a snowmobile trailer and truck, a barking dog, and a pickup truck. All these were in the same area. It was a fuster cluck. It didn’t go so well. Oh well.

Next: 75. 3/16/18: Balancing Acts

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