Today, we have lived here for 90 days. It's been an adventure for sure and we're still grateful that we were able to make the move. That being said, we've also had to realize that some of the expectations/dreams we had for this place will not be realized.
The greatest challenge we've had is building relationships with our neighbors. Granted, it's only been 90 days but we both feel that we'll essentially remain outsiders. Initially, this saddened both of us. We long for some close relationships with people who are nearby because it's beneficial for all concerned.
However, we're not willing to change our principles and goals for the sake of companionship so over time we've seen less of anyone. Thankfully, we're used to being alone. Were it not for my father and my oldest son and an occasional stop in town at my sister's, I doubt we'd see anyone.
People like us are in a minority here and as the neighbors have gotten to know us - and thus assessed us - they can't conceive of finding common ground or spending time together. We were told this week we're so "different." What's left unsaid is that we don't drink alcohol and party every weekend so "there's not much we have in common."
We were discussing this last night and decided that we had built up an expectation of "the life we would have" here and now we're feeling let down.
We're surrounded by a lot of people (some seasonal residents) who, despite being broke, go through amazing things in order to maintain the status quo. Staying home to conserve gas is unthinkable. Driving to one or more of the small towns around here to basically hustle work or offering to haul scrap or pick up returnable cans/bottles in order to keep drinking and "put a few dollars in the gas tank" makes more sense than conserving what resources they do have.
Their perceptions of us include thinking we have money because we're doing so much work on this place. When I said much of what we've done here we already had the materials for, they laughed. It was a reminder that perceptions and reality are seldom related.
I mentioned this to a woman who lives here seasonally and she said we were experiencing "the good old boys' adjustment anxiety." By this she means, they don't like change. The previous owner was one of the good old boys and we're not. We've cleaned up the place, posted the property lines and begun to put up fencing. According to her, these actions along with our different lifestyle, leave them feeling like we're the snobs and they're the "little people."
We've decided why bother even concerning ourselves with what they think? We are who we are.
This is, however, something to consider if you're in search of your dream homestead and need lots of companionship.