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Chapter 2. General Network Security

Chapter 2. General Network Security


John spent a good amount of time building fences around his property and walls around the nearby garden and animal pens. Every couple of weeks in the winter and each week in the summer that followed, John rode out to the fence and checked it all the way around, repairing the fence where needed and building improvements as he could. He would sometimes be away from his family for a couple of days while doing this, but he knew the fence was his first defense against wild animals and predators. He couldn’t afford to let his guard down.

John recognized that the log fence wasn’t enough, based on his experiences earlier in the year. He also maintained the coop for the chickens and the barn for the livestock, and everyone helped maintain and improve the stone wall on a regular basis. After all, they knew a fox had gotten through the fence once, so it was likely that one would do it again. John wasn’t taking any chances, even patching the wood in the floor of the chicken coop regularly to help protect against small rodents that might eat the eggs. The Smiths quickly got into a routine of maintaining the fence and wall and buildings and keeping them in good shape. John always rode the fence line after a big storm to check its condition and immediately repaired any damage he found.

The homestead was a family affair. John knew he couldn’t do it all alone, so each family member had chores to do and responsibilities around the farm. Katie pretty much ran things in the house while John was away—and some would say even while he was there, but that’s a different discussion—and she also supervised the children’s daily activities. Jennifer was older than Carl, so she was allowed in the chicken coop. Carl wasn’t old enough to handle that responsibly, so he was only allowed in the barn and garden. Jennifer was also supposed to ensure that Carl didn’t leave the barn doors open, but Carl was careful and that rarely happened. Some days the children traded the feeding or the garden work, but only with Katie’s approval. That way she could keep an eye on how things were going.

There was one thing that nobody except John was responsible for, and that was tending to John’s horse, Dakota. John always took care of Dakota personally. He and that horse had been through a lot of miles and hard times. This family depended on the health of Dakota for so many aspects of survival that John made it clear he was the only one allowed to shoe Dakota or tend to him. No one was even to ride Dakota without John’s permission.

By the end of the following summer, the Smiths had a fine farm (see Figure 2-1) and a wonderful crop to take into the closest town and sell. It would be a good winter for them indeed, with plenty of food stored, some new clothes and blankets to get through the winter, and a few new neighbors moving onto properties nearby.


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