Unobstructed view

A view from my driveway. (Journal photo by Kylene Scott.)

A few weeks ago I noticed little pink flags out in a pasture near the end of our road. Last fall, they had hayed the pasture, which at the time, my husband and I thought was kind of strange. Recently there has been heavy equipment parked in the pasture and a well driller was there. This week I also noticed a sign saying the property was up for re-zoning.

Now our neighbor's comment about someone building houses at the end of the road made more sense. I'd did some sleuthing to see if I could find anything, but never really found what I was looking for. From the evidence in that pasture, it appears we’re going to have more people in our neighborhood. And I’m not a fan of others encroaching out into my area. Even if it’s still 3 miles away.

To be fair, it is a free country, and someone who's probably smarter than me, has found a way to make their land pay. I almost think they've probably sold this pasture on my road, subdivided it and made a killing on the small acreages.

Not far from this new development is another one of these former pastures, chopped up and has houses built on it. It's probably less than 5 miles to the northern edge of town and can be all the “country living” someone who grew up in town could want or handle. I remember at one time it was just a pasture. Then it had a restaurant on it where people could come and have quite the different dining experience than offered in town. Later it had an arena and some other social gathering spaces. Now it's full of houses on a couple acres, many with a large out building and other things you can have when you have a little bigger space.

I'm not sure if I like the thought of there being other people on my road or the added traffic a subdivision will bring. Or the million other things we might have to encounter because there will be more people, traffic and opinions out here.

We just finished watching the Yellowstone series on television, which features Kevin Costner as a Montana rancher with the largest land holding in the United States. In the third season, developers really start pushing the Dutton's trying to remove them from the land they'd occupied for 150 years, so it could be developed. In the story line, the Native Americans in the area want the land back so it can go back to what it looked like when their ancestors lived on it, while the developers wanted everyone with enough money to have their slice of the beautiful countryside.

I can see both sides of this feud on Yellowstone, because while a slice of it may make you feel good looking out the kitchen window every morning, you're still going to have to look at the neighbors house in the distance when it's developed. Now who would want that? I know I sure don’t.

I remember the feeling of helplessness when we were faced with losing the land that had been in the family for more than 100 years. The feeling of desperation to find a way to keep just a slice of it for ourselves was overwhelming and consumed us. Somehow we managed to keep a part of it and so far, 4 years later have been able to stay on the right side of the banker.

More than once, I've looked out over our land and wondered what it looked like 100 years ago. Even 500 years ago. I'm guessing our slices probably haven't changed very much in that time, but at some point it was someone else’s land. It was someone else’s home. But for my short time on this earth it will be mine, and I’m perfectly content not being able to see a single one of my neighbors houses.

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