Sunday March 6th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the gated community.

Had the whole farm family out this afternoon, getting started on cleaning up the blackberry bushes and raspberry canes. Max and Natalie did some good raking before deciding it was time to go to their grandparents house for snack time. Becky came by with Emersyn in a stroller. The dogs were out and about.

Good times. The first section of blackberries is now cleared out and pruned and ready for mulching. The longest section of raspberries is pruned but still needs to be thinned out some more, and then it's mulch time for that area as well.

We still have the upper section of blackberries and raspberries to take care of, but it was a good start. So nice to not be the only one working on this stuff this year.


Although we don't have locks on the gates (yet), the farm now feels like a gated community. The deer fence was finished on Wednesday, I think, and the guys returned yesterday to install the four gates (we get one, there's one at the end of the driveway for Kat's parents, another for Kat's brother's place, and the last one at the access point by the horse pasture).

So the deer are fenced out. The fruit trees and vegetable gardens will hopefully be able to grow without losing leaves or branches to marauding deer. We're in here with two dogs, a cat, two horses (in their already fenced pasture), one infant, two toddlers, four parents, and two grandparents. With one more infant arriving in the coming weeks.

I like it already. There's a comfort in knowing that Max can walk out the front door to play on his own in the yard and he has zero access to the road. Stray dogs and wandering wildlife cannot get to him. Well, I suppose he could stick his hands through the fence and get himself into some trouble, but I'm pretty confident that he wouldn't do that.

I don't think we ever felt unsafe here, but it's nice to have the extra security. Though I did notice an interesting change in my thinking this morning. I'd parked the car outside the fence because I was going to be driving somewhere relatively soon and didn't want to bother with the stop the car, open the gate, get in the car, drive through the gate, park the car, close the gate routine. I didn't notice it at first, but there was a feeling nibbling at the back of my mind that I eventually identified.

Suddenly, now that there is a fence and a gate where there was not before, outside the fence didn't feel like a safe place to park the car. There was a part of me that wanted to go out and bring the car inside. And there isn't even a lock on the gate!

I don't believe this is a sensation that is unique to me or this situation. But I find it fascinating how quickly it happened. And I wonder how it will feel a month, or a year, or years from now.


Greg said...

That sounds like quite the family job you had going on there! I'm impressed that you got so much work from the kids as well, it sounds like you're training them the right way ;-)
I think you ought to show us a picture of the deer fence as I don't really know what I'm supposed to be imagining... and I like your photographs. It does sound interesting though, and I'm quite intrigued by how the fence is so quickly dividing things into inside and outside in your head. It makes sense, but I think I would have expected it to take longer.

The gated community
The city of the second Lord of the Grey was called Tirin Maure and had been poisoned by a noxious gas cloud spewed out of the volcano on the island in its harbour. It was said later that it had been a foolish place to build a city, but that was when the priests had edited the holy books to remove any trace that Chiric, the second Lord of the Grey, had been quite specific about the location, and had somehow completely failed to mention the volcano. The city was rarely visited, it was a necropolis in a very real sense, and it seemed still to kill intruders.
Laine stood on an ashy stone street, one hand resting on a wall that was fifteen feet high and hewn from solid rock. Next to her Abbot was fishing in a leather backpack that he'd dragged off his bag and rested on his thigh. He was cursing softly under his breath.
"Hurry up," said Laine. She looked around, tossing her auburn shoulder-length hair to each side as she did so; she reminded Abbot of an ill-tempered horse. "I want to get through this gate before sunset."
"There are five gates," said Abbot. He pricked his finger on something in the backpack and withdraw his hand to suck his finger. "Damn."
"Yes, and we need to be through at least the first. There were castes; little communities that lived in the city, and the only ones that weren't at constant risk of death were the ones that lived behind the gates."
"No-one's lived here for a century and a half," said Abbot. He began his search in the backpack again. "I think we're safe."
"People die here." Laine was being stubborn now, still reminding Abbot of a horse. The shape of her neck and her proud nose didn't help. "I'm not dying because you couldn't get a bloody gate open."
"So cheerful," said Abbot. He finally pulled a brass key from the backpack. "Why did I put this in there?"
"Because you're stupid," said Laine. "Give it here."

Marc said...

Greg - crap, I still owe you a picture of the deer fence. I shall try to remember tomorrow.

I quite like these two, and this setting as well. An intriguing beginning, leaving me hoping for a continuation at some point in the near future :)