In response to Frank Grande’s piece, “Maine Not as Expected” (Letters, April 6):

It must be discouraging to see yards that might be “trashed.” I certainly don’t care to see garbage bags lying around with a lot of “junk.” But in defense of rural property owners, the state of one’s yard here ranges from Beans of Maine to somewhere close to what Bob Villa might have. There are fishermen, farmers, clammers, sailors, etc., etc., who might not have room to store some tools of the trade. I will admit to our place being somewhat between these extremes. I find it useful when I have a project, to go out in the yard or barn and find just what I needed to finish — some old lumber or old picket fence that works great to enclose compost. And when the chickens need more fencing, there’s some of that lying around. People are busy, working hard to provide for their families, and it’s not always easy to put away things where they belong. I think many of us are collectors — use it, re-use it, and then pass it on. This is taking care of the environment by not buying more. When we cleaned our barn last year, items went on a table by the road for folks passing by to take if they wanted. If there were a code enforcer here for neater yards, would that mean our chickens couldn’t free range, or the rooster couldn’t crow in the morning? Some items almost become pieces of art as they age, like the very large bone our dog found and brought home three years ago that is now white with a beautiful shape. I have never been to Long Island, but our neighbors here in Appleton are always there for you when you need them, a broken-down tractor, digging a hole for a horse that has died, driving you to the doctors, letting you use pasture, lending a Havahart trap, you name it. This diversity of folk feels healthy, and I love the freedom we have to proceed in our daily lives as we are able, some of us more organized than others, but stewarding our land and taking care of each other. This feels very “Maine” to me.

Linda Arnold, Appleton