Friday, June 18, 2021

Outdoors Pursued

 Well, friends, we all have our fantasies. I've had several over the years but my current one is to own a bit of forest. Where I can commune with nature and indulge in that delightful Japanese pastime called "Forest Bathing."  Around here that shouldn't be as difficult as it sounds. There are forested hills everywhere around us and land has always been pretty darn cheap, as they say.

 We even have a small forest at the end of our back garden, which is delightful in its way and if you position yourself right you don't see another house. The only trouble is that you never know when our lawn-mowing neighbours will start up their infernal machines, which must be the loudest in the eastern United States and are only exacerbated by the echo from the aforesaid surrounding hills.We actually have to shut all our doors and windows when they're at it.  Peace and quiet cannot be guaranteed. So I found myself idly perusing the local property listings. Perhaps there might be a few isolated arboreal acres going for a song and if they came with a pond, so much the better. Well, did I get a rude awakening. Every scrap of land listed was already under offer - and some, with a basic house attached, were going for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Being a pessimist and inveterate conclusion-jumper, my first terrible thought was, "Yikes, someone's buying it all up for windmills!" (A scourge we have mercifully escaped in our immediate vicinity, thanks largely to a neighbour who will one day be canonised, who refused to sell.)  

  "No it's not that, said an estate agent friend, "It's two things - Covid and the economy. Covid has driven people to snap up anything that lets them be in the great outdoors. And the economy is so uncertain people are putting their trust in land. "Like Scarlett O'Hara," hubby remarked. 

  Oh well, perhaps all the townies buying up forests will get tired of their new investments and want to unload them. But then again, I suppose I'm a townie trying to buy up a forest too. 

  And I suppose it will have to remain a fantasy for now. And our own little forest isn't half bad - after the lawnmowers have done their worst. 

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