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Not So Distant Neighbors — By John Reed

Not So Distant Neighbors
As the “social distancing” mandates drag on, we’re finding the American mindset really doesn’t adapt well to being told what to do. Protest movements are growing, pushing back against efforts by the local, state, and federal governments to keep people at home.
This is especially true in big cities, where the whole point of living there is to BE social. A pundit once remarked that any big city is only three bad days away from starvation and riots. It may not be quite that bad, but I’m sure most readers would agree that rural residents are better prepared to survive rough times.
One of my neighbors is something of a survivalist. He’s not full-on, with a buried bomb shelter, but he’s certainly ready to feed his family and defend his homestead should the need arise. After chatting with him last week, I took stock: with just the resources within a quarter mile, the thirty or so folks living around us could live a good life.
Meat: goats, sheep, chicken, fish, wild rabbits, turkey, and deer. Veggies: squash, zucchini, corn, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, just to start. Fruit: peaches, apples, plums, blueberries, citrus, and allege wild blackberries you could pick. Water from the ponds, never-ending wood for cooling and heat. It might not be 21st-century level, but we’d be fine.
More important than basic survival is being with our fellow man…and woman. And despite the endless blather of bad news, people in small towns like ours remain neighbors. Maybe even more so in hard times.
Like the neighbors who this past week helped me and a co-worker load a car onto a flatbed trailer by hand (thanks Rico & Chris)…or the neighbors who helped me get a stuck tractor out of a hole (thanks Jerry & Matthew)…or the restaurant owner who gave up a feee night to prepare a special-order birthday dinner (thanks Matthew & Angie).
So whether things ease up in a week or two, or we’re told to keep our distance for months, I know we’ll be fine. We’ll survive, and our good neighbors will help make it happen.

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