Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Amish Aims

Neighbors not being neighborly

I have Amish neighbors.  When I moved into the area over 23 years ago, there weren't any Amish in the area.  Then some of the dairy farms brought in very hard working and dedicated Amish families to run their local dairies.  Then more Amish people moved in.  Then there is an Amish school.  Then we started having road signs up warning about horses and buggies.  Than a few years ago, a newly married Amish couple bought the farm at the end of the private lane that goes between my property and the neighbor's property.  Then they moved a furniture factory there.  Then  another young Amish couple built a home on the property and moved in.

For the most part they are quiet neighbors.  However, traffic up and down the private lane has increased from a car or two a day to a steady stream of horses and buggies, and hired vehicles and drivers with pickups and van loads of Amish.  Now they have started  a discount grocery down the lane with a hand letter sign with a red arrow pointing down the road.   Now semi trucks come in the wee hours of the morning making deliveries to the discount grocery and we have even more traffic.

I live in a rural unzoned area.  I really don't mind that the Amish want to make the most of their investment in their land.  Yes, I was relieved when I heard they decided against putting a sawmill right behind us, but other than the increased traffic everything has been pretty OK until the big truck traffic started a few weeks ago.

The private lane is a one lane gravel road.  Its purpose is for access to two properties behind me.  It was never intended to carry semi truck traffic or two lane traffic.  My next door neighbor that shares the easement is fed up.  Semis have been turning into my yard and across the corner of his yard and tearing up the unprotected lawns because the turn INTO the lane is way too tight for a semi to make.  My neighbor went to talk to the Amish neighbors about the semi tearing up the yard issue.  Our Amish neighbors have always been pretty OK to talk to - I only see them when their horses or cows get out in my yard.  They are cheerful and friendly if in a sort of distant way.  My neighbor reported that he was told that he could let the Amish buy him out, or take them to court but the semi's were going to keep pulling across our yards regardless.  He is not happy at all.

My neighbor is a retired truck driver and a Vietnam veteran.  He is a take action kind of guy.  He said for the non-violent sort the Amish are really aggressive.  Who knew?? So now he is going to fence the lane to the boundary of the easement and put a gate across it.  The semis can still come and go, the Amish can still come and go, the neighbors behind me can still come and go, they will just need to open and shut the gate every time.

Since I don't use the lane I don't care if it is fenced (it was when I moved here - we removed the fence because it was in bad repair) or gated.  I foresee crushed fences from wide turns and lawsuits commencing, but I fear an accident on the hilly one lane road with the increase in back and forth traffic too.

I'm more of a "if you can't beat them join them" philosopher and thought maybe I should put a discount bakery, and a discount tobacco store, and a discount liquor store and a discount animal feed store and a dollar store right on the edge of my property. That way everyone who visits the Amish discount grocery store will already have spent all their discount money at MY stores! I think it would be just too much work now opening and shutting that gate. Another dream gone.  Sigh. 

The Amish neighbors have more than one set of roads in.  I think they like the private lane by me because it is only about a half mile off the state highway.  I am hoping they will rethink their road position and go for the path of least resistance - annoying the neighbors on the other side of their acreage.  I think my Vietnam veteran neighbor has put his Missouri mule foot down about using his yard as a roadway.

Health wise with the flu, I am better. I am still sleeping sitting up tonight.  My fever has gone down some but is still there. I can't breathe if I lie flat.  I can't breath if I walk, I can't breathe even now just typing.  I sound like I have one of those squeaky toy wheezers stuck down in the bottom of my crunchy crackly lungs.  I have increased my fluids hoping maybe I will start coughing up my squeaky bits soon. 

Hoping to get to rest a few hours tonight, better than last night.  Hoping you all have a great, non truck in your yard kind of week.  Who knows, by next week I may have fencing like a prison with barbed wire topped defenses holding back all comers!


  1. You're so artistic ,I think you should design clowns to sell at your bakery! Feel better

  2. I would be mad too if big trucks were tearing up my land. The amish are an interesting group, and I often wonder about the inconsistancies I've seen over the years. I imagine it has been interesting to witness all of this unfold over the years.

    Glad you are feeling a bit better :)

  3. Kristin: Now I have clown cakes stuck in my head! :)

    Migrainista: The main inconsistency I have personally noticed about my many Amish neighbors, is that although velcro or plastic or super water absorbant fibers were NOT invented in the 1800's where they cut off accepting technological innovation, Pampers and other disposible diaper products are just as often seen in their shopping carts as any other overworked young Mom's!!!