200 year-old house on 25 rocky acres in high country upstate NY and SO many highbush blueberries!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Last Year I Was Afraid of Everything
Everything seemed so wild and untamed and ... scary. I moved into this house in the woods all alone and the silence and the darkness terrified me. I thought axe murderers were crawling up the hill, (wo)man-eating coyotes were lurking just past every tree. It didn't help that the coyotes frequently and loudly made their presence known. For the first month or so, I kept the front porch lights on all the time because, well, I don't know why. I was afraid. Then I got the dogs and I couldn't avoid the outside at night or in the morning because I had to walk them (pre-invisible fence). Here I am, right at an edge of my property looking uphill on a foggy morning. The lights from my house are at the very faaar right of the shot.
It was terrifying to drive home at night in the dark and see nothing but trees. I felt like I had to keep eagle eyes open for deer running into the roadway. Things seemed so 'Blair Witch Project' scary all the time. There were a lot of trees and wildness very close to the house. Here's a picture of the area that was graded a few weeks ago, my future orchard. Now it's clear and smooth and open, but this time last year it looked like this. Total, over-my-head wildness.
When I got the dogs, Maggie was NOT housetrained yet, so I was learning how to make a fire in the woodstove and keep it going at the same time I was keeping a puppy on a six-foot leash and trying to watch her all the time. She was crated when I wasn't home, so I rushed home after work to let her out. Desmond went on jaunts for hours and I got many phone calls from people miles away telling me they had my dog. I was cold all the time. Everything was out of control and terrible and scary.
What made me think of the contrast between last year and this year is this. I'm not scared and super-alert driving home through the woods in the dark any more. I'm getting a sense of how to keep an eye open for motion and be ready to slow down quickly. But I'm relaxed about it. Desmond and Maggie stay in their electric fence while I'm gone and I can stay out late if I want now because I know they're OK (hungry maybe, but OK). I can start a fire on one try and keep it going for days. It's still wild around here and scary to newbies, but I'm feeling more at home, which is a pretty nice feeling compared to last year.