Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Neighborly Way

We live ten miles from a city of 12,000, which means suburbia is encroaching on our ranch. "Pilgrims" - that's what Gary calls people that move to the country and plant lawns and delicate trees along county roads. It makes moving cattle from pasture to pasture a challenge. 

Sometimes Mark and I talk about moving further out, finding a ranch at the end of some lonely road somewhere. But as romantic as that sounds, we could never leave family (both his and mine) behind. So rather than getting upset about more and more neighbors, we try to make the best of it. We do as Lincoln said, "I don't like that man. I must get to know him better."

This winter was a good example of just this kind of thinking. Mark talked to the owner of this new home and made arrangements to use their outdoor hydrant to water the heifers for a few weeks. It opened up a new field we hadn't been able to use in the winter before. It worked great and we were very appreciative.          

When it came time to bring the heifers home I did a little preliminary work by stringing baling twine across the many driveways along the way. They're a flimsy barrier, but they look like electric wire to the cows so they steer clear of them. The cattle filed obediently home. I don't know about the other cowboys, but this cowgirl was much less stressed. Gary followed the herd in the pickup and gathered up the strings along the way. 


I think of the comment my friend Pauline made about subdivisions popping up near their family sheep operation. "What do you do, stay mad at nice people in lovely homes?"

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