Friday, November 19, 2004

Our Neighbor's New Fence

For the last sixteen years that we have lived in our current home, we have enjoyed the extended wooded undeveloped area behind our house. Though private property, it was unfenced and not posted. We in the neighborhood were able to enjoy that extended area as a kind of "commons". Trails were worn through different parts of the acreage. Deer and other wild animals made the area their home. Our children enjoyed playing in that part of the woods immediately behind the house.

In the back of our minds we knew it probably would not stay undeveloped forever. After all it was privately owned land, but we also knew that the owners of that extended tract were a local well to do family that had a concern for how these areas in the township would be developed. That was part of the reason they bought the land so many years ago. Even so, we kind of expected that someday we would probably see another subdivision going in there.

I think it was the first of this year that we learned that this property was going to be developed as an estate for a new home for one of the family members. The appropriate notices were sent to those adjoining property owners that would have a vested interest in how the land was used. Surveyors went though the property, marking out property lines and ect.

Then the building and landscaping started. The home and out-buildings are being erected in that side of the land opposite of the end we are next to. It looks like our part of the woods will be for the most part undisturbed.

Except for the fence. This past week workers came along the edge of the property erecting a fence. It's not an ugly chain link fence, but with wood posts with cross boards against which woven fence is stapled. It's actually positioned a number of feet inside their property line, so an outside access strip remains between the fence and the actual property line. The appearance fits in very well with the woods. It is a high fence that deer will find difficult to jump, and the weave of the wire portion is such that our dog will not be squeezing his way through it.

So it is our "commons" will no longer be open to us. And there is some sense of loss at that thought. But there is also some sense that in erecting that fence, something hopefully will be preserved. After all, we had expected a subdivision. Now we have a fenced off estate with the prospect that this portion will be preserved as much as possible "as is".

It is our new neighbors' property to do with as they will within the boundaries of the law. Their right to use their property as such is also my right to use my little less then half acre as such. There is also a sense that the new estate will preserve our property's value. If we ever sell, any buyer will know what is going to be beyond the backyard, and it will not be another subdivision.

So it is we have to give up something, but we also gain a little in return. Things change. Change happens. And so it will be until the end of this world. The only un-changing things in existence are God and His Word. He is the Solid Rock.

"My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ the solid rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand"
(Edward Mote 1797 - 1874)

Sola Deo Gloria!

~ The Billy Goat ~

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