A recipe for angstSome think the guidelines are too strict. Some think they aren’t strict enough. Some want to put a green roof on their house; others don’t think green is an earth-friendly color (go figure). Some want to raise llamas and others want to raise cattle. Some want horse trails, some want ATV access. It’s a recipe for angst, and it’s occurring in our backyards, literally.

The fight has been accelerating, and it’s getting ugly. We don’t seem to be able to agree. I live in Dammeron Valley, and there are some who want reform, and they want it nowThat group has become known as “the exiters” since their main goal is to exit the homeowners association and take as many of their neighbors with them as possible. Others want to adopt a less extreme “let’s see if we can fix it” attitude. I have to admit, my spouse and I align with this group. We don’t think things are broken beyond repair.

There have been meetings and yelling. Some have walked out, and some have pounded tables. Some have threatened lawsuits and damnation. Some have encouraged open communication, and some have held secret gatherings. Some have maligned the homeowners association and the developer.

There are culprits on both sides. No one is perfect. I’m not a Biblical scholar, but I do remember John 8:7: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” It is reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials or the villagers attacking Frankenstein’s monster. We are afraid of the unfamiliar. I’m hoping that we have evolved, but I have my doubts. I’m waiting for the pitchforks. The monster must die.

I love Dammeron. I live next to an empty lot and a vineyard. What could be better? I’m rooting for the monster. I don’t believe the monster must be destroyed. The monster is not evil or malicious. Perhaps it can be befriended.  It was created by those who had good intentions. A few mistakes made it ugly and awkward, but it means no harm. It can be repaired and renewed.

Others believe the monster will lead us into the gates of hell. Meanwhile, the angst continues. There have been crazy accusations and rabid discussions on Facebook. Letters defending the monster have been sent, but some firmly support it’s fatal destruction. There is a website dedicated to killing the monster, fueling the belief that it is intent on doing harm. Apparently, our welfare and existence depend on its death.

At least there are some rational discussions. I hope there is a willingness to listen to both sides of the argument before reaching a decision. Mark 3:25 says, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Yep, back to the Bible, although I’m a skeptic and hopeless agnostic. I have lost faith in the ability of humans to act for the greater good of our species and our planet. In a recent meeting, one exiter commented that he chose Dammeron because he prefers isolation. Community involvement is not important. He wants to kill the monster, but what if he does? The next monster may be bigger, meaner, and more threatening. Maybe his neighbors won’t help. After all, he wants to live in isolation. What if this time the monster is Godzilla and it’s hungry? Just saying.

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