neighbors

farming on a major road (the thoroughway between petaluma and pt. reyes) and a farm field adjacent to a much traversed driveway (shared with ten other ranches/families) has it’s ups and downs.

there is the shril from dueling atv’s on the sheep ranch, or the lost call of a neighbor’s cows run amouk. traffic sounds at days end,  and faces from a rolled up car window that stare in bewilderment or disapproval at a greenhorn working land they’ve grown up on. all that aside, neighbors in the cuttys are lovely.

one never travels our driveway without a cooler of coors in the back of his pickup or atv. seriously. and he’ll wave every time he passes, with that handlebar mustache and offer you a beer, no matter the time of day. ask for a coor’s light, though, and he’ll offer with the caution:  “it’s like kissing your sister.” he’s known to loan out farm equipment and has helped split enough wood for our ranch to keep the houses tucked in tight all winter.

another runs his sheep on the east pasture, and gives me whispered advice like “hang in there” and “don’t worry about what the others think.” his nephews are the drivers of the atvs, rounding up sheep and chickens on their ranch behind the creek.

most consider petaluma “the city” and travel to san francisco once or twice a year, while others at the ranch here call it their daily commute. oh, and have i mentioned hunting season and the men’s club down the driveway! when these events occur, you can sit on the porch and count dozens of trucks, one following the other, down the drive, right before dusk, and then see them out again come dawn. the real deal country. not anything like west county country, non. this is the real deal: beer in cans, shotgun shells, atvs, cows. and a little farm growing, growing, growing.

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