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I live in a wealthy county – outside any large town. The county is very long. There are maybe 4 sheriffs on duty at any one time. Everyone knows this. Unless there is a vehicle accident or reported theft you never see them – a sheriff’s vehicle. They do all their patrolling close to the towns. I live on the edges of a tiny unincorporated village with a small, old market and a reduced hours post office the size of my bathroom. I can open the door, stick my arm in and open my postal box without going inside. We do have an active volunteer fire department, surrounded by forests and open fields as we are…it’s a necessity in the drier years.

When bad summer storms cut us off by felling huge trees all over the roads, or we are dumped with 20″ or more of snow, there’s an unofficial group of local ‘leaders’ that take over, keep everyone informed, ask for help and get things done. Our ‘community trail’ group works with them (we are a bit younger on average) and can rally the bodies that have the strength and stamina to get some of the physical stuff done at times like that. The ‘elders’ know what we are doing and endorse it and have been very supportive and gotten key landowners on board with our plans for possible future defensive needs of our area. They’ve helped smooth the way and provided introductions to others working in immediately adjacent areas we probably never would have known about otherwise.

Last week a neighbor down the road had $40,000 of new equipment disappear. He really needed them for his business and faced losing important income without them. He didn’t call the cops first. He called a meeting that night. Local ‘elders’ and trail group. Turns out a few other minor theft incidents of equipment had been happening lately. We got out the maps and pinpointed where they had occurred and who lived where. Who might need to be questioned or watched. Took a couple of days but neighbor had his stolen commercial mowers returned night before last. A fairly recent new ‘ tenant ‘ in a rental on a neighboring farm did receive an unexpected visit from the cops who arrested him (not for the theft) but for all the drugs they found at his place and the makings for a meth lab. They also found a pile of chain saws, weed eaters, compressors and such in one of the bedrooms.

We all are trying to be more self-sufficient around these parts and gaining some more like minds. The eyes that are watching out for each other and the community are growing. Nice to see some apathy beginning to fall away.

Enjoy your day all. Lunch is over. Back to the fields.