Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Surround your animals with prayer flags
We are fighting a sub-development up the road, thanks to the sad passing of Measure 37 two years ago. Having come from Minnesota, land of beautiful farm lands and small river towns eaten up by developers, I was pleased when I moved here in 2002 that Oregon set such a good example for land use. Two years later I was shocked and saddened by the passing of Measure 37, an amendment so poorly explained to the voting public, so pushed by a small, wealthy group of opportunists, that it divided Oregon, and still does. I knew it's passing was a road that Oregon would not be able to do a U-turn on. We felt when we moved to Yamhill [at that time, the Measure 37 had not even come up for voting] we were somewhat safe for about 20 years from any hint of large executive type McMansions , or worst yet, sub-developments. Sadly, we are now faced with a forested 50-acre parcel being turned into 12 small lots. This is 1/4 mile up our road. Traffic from the development would go up our road, traffic that would include the usual number of cars, and off-road vehicles the the 'average' family building a 5,000 SF home costing over $700,000 usually require for their chosen lifestyle. A sub-development is completely out of place for this rural/agricultural area, and all we can do is voice our opinions and see it through. I have written 3 letters, we've taken part, as have other neighboring farms and properties, in the local county process. I won't go into details on this specific case, but visit 1000 Friends of Oregon to read about the impact of this Measure 37, and learn about land use issues. And on a national level, this update site is invaluable.
So as I worked in the studio the other day listening to a new Greg Brown CD, the words "feels like the wind, and trees and stars are on trial", caused me to pause and write them down.
The farm felt different. I feel unsettled because of what will happen in the area. It is, I guess, becoming what they said it would, another Napa. It took me over 40 years to find a farm, live a dream, and the dream never had a sub-development in the middle of it. Two nearby properties of long time residents have now sold their places, not wanting to deal with it all. I don't blame them. On the upside, their places sold for very good amounts, and our property's equity will profit down the road.
So, I turn to things that give me joy, and comfort. Pino Blangiforti's face is like a stuffed animal. When you see it, you want to hold it, and squeeze it, cry into if you are feeling blue. He was very patient with me when I sat with him in a pile of hay, and shed some tears into his neck. I came in and drew this portrait of him, and I decided to add little prayer flags for him, and all the animals, and our farm. For we all need prayers these days - all living things - even the wind, the trees and the stars.