I live in an area that used to be farmland or open fields. But in the last few years people have been building big houses everywhere, with huge yards around them. New subdivisions are being built all around the property I live on, and this is why I'm asking for help.
There is a brand new subdivision going up right next to my home, on some pasture land my mother owned until twelve years ago, when she had a lot of financial problems and had to sell it. Every day I hear construction noises which is a constant reminder that my family's beautiful land, with lots of old pear trees on it, is being ruined. I believe in my heart of hearts that this shouldn't be happening, and that we should still own it. By the way, I'm living on part of what used to be my mother's farm. She gave me almost 25 acres for my 21st birthday. Now I'm 43, in case that's important information for your answer.
Before I go into why I'm writing to you, I want to tell you that my grandparents moved here in the 1920's, I think, and bought up different pieces of property here and there until they owned about 15000 acres. Before they died, they divided all of this up between my mother and her three brothers. That was when I was about 10. From what my mother used to tell me, she and her brothers had an agreement to never sell any of the land. That it was their heritage, and they had made a promise to my grandparents they would always keep it.
But, my mom and one of her brothers had huge financial problems in the early 1990's, and they finally had to sell off their portions, because they would of lost it otherwise. Since the land I have was given to me from my mother's property, it is right next to the rest that she had to sell. Some family friends from the town bought the land, but always told her that they hoped that she would some day be able to buy it back again. My mom always trusted that she was going to be able to do that. Then she died a few years ago, and the other people sold it all to a developer. I still have trouble with the fact that I always believed that I would inherit all that land.
Here's why I am so upset and want your help. I have 2 horses, a donkey, 3 dogs, a rooster, a cow and 3 sheep. The people in the houses in the subdivision on the other side of the wall where my property ends complain all the time about the noise that my animals make, and they say that my place smells bad. They're trying to make me get rid of my animals. Between their constant complaining and the construction noise, it's hard for me to concentrate on anything anymore, and I get really bitter and depressed. Can you please tell me what I need to do?
I empathize totally with what you're feeling and experiencing.
Before I begin to tell you what you 'need to do,' I would like to explain to you how to 'be:' which is very different'
Even though you are traumatized (and I'm not exaggerating) by what is going on next to your home, it's unhealthy for you to continue living there, the way you're feeling. I'm not suggesting that you move; I'm proposing that you look at things in an entirely new way. I use the terms 'glass half-empty/glass half-full' fairly frequently: what this means is that two people look at the exact same situation in completely opposite ways; one person sees the scenario as being positive, the other, negative.
Right now, you're seeing living on your land, with your wonderful animals, and the lifestyle you've created as the glass being half-empty. I feel certain, though, that you will start shifting that perspective after you've read on for a few more paragraphs. One way of seeing your glass more half-full, is to recognize that you are sitting on a gold mine, land value-wise. You could actually sell your land for enough money to move to virtually any country in the world, and live there without having to work for anywhere from a few years to at least a decade! In other words, this is another option for you; the more options one has, the easier it is to see life in the half-full way.
Partly what's going on with you is that you're feeling trapped, and having to defend, alone, your life and everything in it. But what you're really defending is your old paradigm, or the way your life used to be, before 'civilization' encroached. You need to recognize that life for all of us has changed, and it's important to bring yourself into present-day reality. The more options you understand that you have, the less you will be 'you against the world,' the more you'll begin to see this new reality as a 'half-full' one.
As I indicated at the beginning of my answer, I'm not suggesting that you sell your land. I just wanted to have you start awakening to the fact that there are other ways to view your land, the neighbors and your animals. Now, here is what I actually do 'get' is meant to be for you (another way of saying this is here is the very best option): to turn these seeming enemies around, make them your allies and create a fantastic business right there on your land!
Before I go into detail about how to do that , there's some information that you need to hear. Your neighbors have--and don't 'kill the messenger,' here--an accurate assessment of your place. Since you have lived there for so many years, and therefore don't have a fresh, or neutral perspective on your animals and acreage, you haven't been able to see that the place is pretty run down, and does 'reek' of animals and what they naturally create as smells! I'm hoping that you can have a friend come over, sit down with you, and help you assess what your place comes across as being, and a plan for making it more presentable. Someone, of course, who has your best interest at heart, and who would work with you on this with compassion and love. At the very least, please paint your exterior, fix the screens, move some of the animals and the pond to the other side of your property and definitely clean out some of the years' accumulation of manure.
That's just the very beginning of a tremendous turnaround I see for your life, including your finances, connection with your neighbors and much more. You'll have to put in, anyway, at least some new fencing on the side of your property where you're relocating the animals. Why not plan out the fencing and create more of a paddock than just an enclosed area, allowing enough space for an 8 stall barn (you can start small, and build one end of the barn and a temporary wall on the other side for your horses and the donkey, adding on as you're able). Because, you're meant to create a lot of extra income from your property, starting by boarding horses, and even having children learn to ride in that paddock. You can hire out the paddock to a horseback riding teacher, or you can hire the teacher yourself. Eventually, this is meant to turn into a high quality horse farm. I'm also 'getting' for you a little petting zoo with a llama, a peacock, plus at least a couple of small rescue animals (one, a fox) being added to your current menagerie. You'll be able to borrow enough money to get going on this; also, at least 4 people you know will come over to help you with the construction. I'm seeing you adding more trees to help with your 'beautification process,' including some young pear trees, which will help you to alleviate the pain of seeing the ancient ones being demolished on your mother's former land.
I hope this has helped you to start an entirely new process for yourself; I wish I had the time to share with you everything I'm seeing, especially what else you can do to turn the neighbors around. At least, though, I'm giving you a synopsis of what is not only possible, but meant to happen. I know that you will accomplish this, as your parents on 'The Other Side' are assuring me that this is so!