I was heading down my road to work on killing some Ailanthus trees and sprouts (See the August 10th blog about this) when I ran into a tree that had fallen and completely blocked my way. So, I hiked back up a half mile to the house and called my neighbor Steve. Steve and Anne live about three miles away from me, but are among my closest neighbors. My road is 2.4 miles long, narrow and graveled. Although no road at all in the middle of a
natural area preserve would be preferable, it would mean I couldn’t live close to nature and so Naked Mountain might never have become the 49th Natural Area Preserve in Virginia! Compromises, compromises.
Steve arrived on his trusty ATV with two chain saws. Most folks in the country carry two saws just in case one gets pinched as the log is being sawed, a very frequent occurrence. Very few women use chainsaws, but I know
several who do. It is one of the most dangerous activities of rural life, so I consciously avoid it, leaving that job to the stronger men who are used to dealing with two cycle engine machinery. Even then, most of my male neighbors tell stories of near misses with chainsaws. Safety equipment, like Steve is wearing is critical.
Helpful neighbors are essential when you live in a rural setting. During the recent derecho, for instance, Steve and Anne provided water for our small Dutch Creek community because they had a generator. Everyone else, including me, suffered a loss of power and with that water, for six days. I always stash gallons of potable water in closets all over the house to make it through power-loss occasions.
Rural living certainly has its challenges, but it is all worth it!