Wide open spaces offer perspective

I have some nagging thoughts about a recent development in my neighborhood. I don’t really live in a neighborhood as there’s really only three occupied houses in a 3.5-mile stretch of road I take to get home. But for me, that’s plenty.

Recently we noticed a culvert lying in the ditch along the blacktop road that takes you to town. My oldest son wanted to confiscate it, but I advised against it and let him know that stealing isn’t something a 10-year-old boy needs to get in the habit of doing. Several days later, I noticed the placement of the culvert matched a gap in the trees on this particular field.

I should back up a little by saying this field, which sits at the end of my road was broken out of Conservation Reserve Program in 2014. It has been farmed since it came out of grass. It did have a row of trees looking as if someone intended on building a house there at one point. But honestly, I never really thought any more about it besides how annoyed I was the land was no longer in grass. It was such a sad scene seeing the disks turn over the ground.

Last year part of this parcel changed hands and we caught wind of potential zoning changes and saw some survey markers. Neighbors contacted us and suggested we voice our opinions to the county commissioners. I missed it due to gallbladder discomfort. The neighbors and I believed since the zoning change wasn’t approved and the proposed housing development was a no-go.

Recently I noticed they’d done some dirt work on the ground where the culvert was so I stopped to get a photo and promptly messaged my closest neighbor to ask if she’d heard anything. Indeed, there was a house going in. Not just a house, but three. Cue the eye roll.

I’m really torn as to how I feel about this. I mostly feel we’re being encroached upon. Dodge City is slowly expanding to the north. Every day I drive past a new housing development near my kids’ school and watch the new street being built and the houses one by one are being finished up. I’m all about progress in some realms of my world, but when it’s this close to home, I honestly don’t like it.

When we built our house in 2010, I liked how I couldn’t see anything but grass, fences and the power lines on all sides of our place. When I drive out in the pasture, my mind goes back 150 years and I can be alone with my thoughts. I can wonder what I was like to be out on the prairie trying to survive.

But I guess that’s really what life is all about. Trying to survive. Trying to survive in our piece of the world. I shouldn’t worry about what others do, but instead worry about myself and family. I shouldn’t worry that people want to have their own piece of land to live on. I just don’t want it within sight of mine.

Kylene Scott can be reached at 620-227-1804 or [email protected].