Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I love Fred Reed's blog; I can't help it. I may disagree with some of his misogynistic  tendencies - I was raised to be a tough independent woman with self-respect, not a clinging vine, dependent on a may-un, and I married a man who was a real man in his own right, and who wasn't intimidated by me - but all in all, Fred hits the nail on the head.


His latest is a great post - and is why I moved to where I did and do what I do.

We tore down an old falling-down garage on the property and put up a bright shiny new one - red and white metal, with electricity - and never filed a single permit. One of the older guys in town pulled up one day after we were mostly done, and had a beer with us while he went around the place. "Good job. I approve." And no money changed hands, no papers were signed, and we had a garage for the 4-wheeler and a workshop for Mike's power tools.

We rewired the basement to accommodate some new equipment, and re-plumbed the water pipes to the trough - and no one said a word. We put in fruit trees and gardens and a huge chicken house with a yard - and there were no ordinances to stop us, no cops driving by to measure the height or breadth of anything to write tickets. Rusty the sheriff lives two blocks away, and waves when he drives by. In two months I'll be putting up my first beehives - and the neighbors are thrilled to get the pollination activity.

We do whatever we damned well please, on the edge of a town where everyone does as they damned well please, surrounded by ranchers who do as they damned well please - and nobody gives a damn, no one infringes on anyone else's rights, nobody cares - we're all too busy.  When rabbits came down from the hills and infested our gardens, we took .22's into the backyard and dispatched them. When coyotes start howling on the west side of town, George turns loose his greyhounds and runs them until they get within range - then dispatches them. When wild turkeys swarmed our back hill, a teenager asked if he could hunt them - we gave him free reign.When my daughter and future son-in-law brought out their AR-15 to practice, we took them into the back pasture and let them blast away at tin cans lined up on the side of a hill - pointed away from neighbors or their cows, of course.

Fred's right but he's wrong; the cubicle-dwellers who panic at the thought of a big stick that goes BANG are the biggest problem - and we don't have that crap out here. Moreover, unlike Fred, we don't ever expect it to change - because no cubicle-dweller wants to come out here, no city-bound nervous nellie knows who or what's out here, and could care less. Even the city people who have to drive this way get distinctly nervous about being stuck out here; they won't stay in my neighbor's cute country cabins over night, they must flee at dusk to a city with a motel chain that they recognize, where they feel safe surrounded by neon and sewer pipes and fast food restaurants. They are appalled by the women who wear well-worn leather chaps over their pants to protect them when they go out on the range, or by the chunks of cow poop that fall off of the boots of old and young alike when they politely scrape their feet at the door.

And do you know how I feel about that? GOOD. Get the hell out. A blizzard's coming, where a foot of snow is predicted with six-and-eight-foot drifts, and you don't want to be stuck here - where we all open carry, even down at the local restaurant and bar, and no one ever gets shot or even shot at - because everyone else is carrying, too. Where we all have woodstoves to back up our propane heaters, solar-powered heaters and lights with fully-charged batteries,  and candles and kerosene lamps to light when the lights go out, and hand pumps to back up the generator pumps to back up the regular water pumps that go out when the power does.  Lock yourself behind your metal doors with multiple latches and tremble in terror when the neon lights or the heat go out, or the water gets shut off, or the grocery store shelves are empty because of some weather or civil anomaly, or the crackheads down the street start taking to the street. Scream for protection from the evil people or the evil guns, or the horrors of doing for yourself when all of your resources and expected pleasures and joys disappear or are inaccessible to you. Demand that someone, somewhere, take care of you and your children, and be responsible for you and enforce your rights for you. Yeah, that'll work out well for you.