We have dogs next door. Not just a few dogs, we have counted 9 dogs, including two German Shepherds (that take their job seriously of guarding their yard from invasive cats, other passing dogs or people who walk by), another mix dog that is as large as the German Shepherds, 5 cocker spaniels that eagerly bark at every train that passes, and a puppy which at his young age is as large as the full grown Cocker Spaniels. The German Shepherds are police dogs, therefore any harm done to them would count as assaulting an officer. They live in their back yard that is not more than 25 feet away from our bedroom window. Only a chain link fence separates our yard from theirs.
The cocker spaniels think we are threatening them when we walk in this section between our house and the fence and bark like we are invading. Every time. Every time we go back to check on the water, every time we go to work on the house, or mow the lawn. They bark. They think they own this section of our yard. So they bark.
We also live a block away from a train crossing and hear every one that passes through with the usual warning blasts all night and all day.
For this reason, Dave and I have dreamed of getting a house, far out in the country in the middle of 100 acres, away from any neighbors, dogs or trains. This imaginary place is far away from city lights, where we could go outside and gaze at the stars.
We once lived on the edge of a 118 acre farm we owned. We could go outside at night and easily see the Milky Way, anytime we wanted. We had a clear view of the surrounding mountains. To the East were the Ragged Mountains, to the South the San Juans, to the south west was the Uncompagre Plateau, and to the north was the Grand Mesa. We were surrounded by alfalfa fields that stayed green most of the summer, in between the hay harvests. Because the job Dave had was closing, we were forced to sell the farm and move away. Our moves have taken us reluctantly to the middle of a small town.
We have longed for a peaceful night with no noises around us. We must put in earplugs in order not to be disturbed by the train and barking dogs.
We have driven around in the countryside to look at acreages for sale. We have dreamed of buying the property next to the orchard which is located in the middle of BLM land, on our way to Salt Lake. Of course it is not for sale, but when we stop at the rest stop there, it is completely quiet. You can look up to a black sky glittering with stars. The air is fresh. It doesn't smell like the surrounding dairies or stock yards that border our small town.
How easy would it be to just go out into the mountains in the West Desert and camp permanently. Sure there are snakes, spiders, coyotes, mountain lions and other dangers, but in our imaginations, we would build up a fort that would keep all the hazards away. We would somehow dig a well and find fresh water. We would build windmills that would catch the energy and be stored in batteries. We would build a home out of the adobe soil and fashion bricks that harden in the sun. We would build solar panels to heat the home and provide energy. We would plant many cottonwood and elm trees that grow fast and would provide shade in the summer and wood for our wood-burning stove in the winter.
We would be self sufficient. We would plant a garden and gather the seeds at the end of the season. We would store the fruits of the garden in a root cellar and can the rest in bottles. We would raise our meat, pigs for meat, chickens for meat and eggs, goats for milk, butter, cheese and meat, horses to help plow the land, hay to feed the animals, corn to feed the pigs. We would live in this ideal place until our old age forced us to surrender.
Then as we imagine this perfect life, we begin to picture our children. We would probably never see our children or grandchildren. What about Church on Sunday? Would we have to use up valuable energy in gasoline to drive all the way into civilization to worship on Sunday? What about Church callings?
Then we picture the Lord on Judgement day.
L. How have you handled your adversities?
a. we did fine we had no adversities
L. How did you serve Me?
a. by reading our Scriptures and saying our prayers
L. What about my children, how did you serve them?
a. We took care of ourselves, Lord. We are your children
Anyway, you get the gist of this interview. We would be weighed in the balance and found wanting.
The Lord doesn't want us to become hermits and live our lives in a cave. He meant for us to live together, church groups, and serve Him by serving His children.
How do we handle our adversities? I think a fence in the back yard with thick foliage between us and the fence to give us our haven, but no fence in the front. In the front, is a large lawn that connects with our neighbor's lawn. We have a path that is worn between our front door and theirs. We bring each other cookies, bread, and visit in the front. Yes we still need our space away from everyone, but the front is open to the visiting world.