As you might have noticed, we have been a little, well, irregular here with posting.
That is primarily due to the fact that we have apparently angered the internet fairy with some terrible misdeed and she has decided that our contact with civilization will be at a high cost of frustration, pain and money!
Well, kidding aside, we are once again without internet service as I write this. Friday evening a most terrible thunderstorm swooped down upon us. At first the winds howled and started to whip the delicate spring blossoms off the trees. Bits of this and that were flung all over the yard in little dust devils of activity. Maggie was out in the back pasture and I was working on dinner. I saw her start to walk towards the house, at first just ambling, and then a little quicker as I heard the first drops start. Then very suddenly, the whole of the heavens released a HUGE downpour, and I saw Maggie run to the tractor barn for safety! I knew she would be there for awhile!
It rained so hard that even Gypsy forgot to get all worried and just went and hid under a desk to await her doom. Jessy and I ran around closing windows. It was flooding in the kitchen! We had to get the mop out there was so much rain, so quickly. I saw Maggie just sopping wet enjoying a stroll back to the screen porch, she had given up and was enjoying the cool rain. Until it started to hurt… hail came with the rain about the size of small pingpong balls! First couple to sting her and she quickly got in the porch. We all stood out there with the hail and the rain SO LOUD on the steel roof that we were laughing and shouting at each other and you could not hear a thing! We were getting drenched as the water was pouring into the screen porch. Funniest thing, there is a strip of green translucent panels running down the middle of the roof out there and it was dirty. The hail was beating the dirt and debris off the panels and lightening up the area! Haha… Mother Nature was lending us a hand. I made a note not to keep anything out there that we didn’t mind getting wet because it was now a little swimming pool of puddles.
It was all over within 20 minutes and blue skies tried to peek out as quickly as they could. We cleaned up, had dinner. After dinner we went on our evening walk with the dogs all over the homestead. It’s rather a ritual that we love. We walk and talk, watch things change, let the old dogs wander and hopefully teach Evee to stick with us so that someday she’ll be able to walk freely as well. Of course, the garden area was full of muddy puddles and low spots. I’m coming to realize that I’m going to have to dig some drainage ditches at the low part of the garden and drain the water off the garden when it rains hard.
When I started to get online and do a little work, something was up. No contact. No signal. I reset the computer, I reset the modem. I checked the connections. Anything to make it so I did not have to call their tech help center, which frankly, is very very sub-par. Nothing. Oh dear! I’ve been on the phone the last two weeks with these people, it’s been one thing or another. This has not been an easy install. And we even gave warm homemade cookies to the installer to try and appease the web gods and nothing! Waaaa!
So with a cold pepsi and a hugh sigh, I called. Three hours later and multiple levels of tech service (even being directed to the American tech center… that’s big time) they decided that something had messed with the dish and knocked it loose. Oh, like hail? Which of course, I did mention at the first few minutes and they poo-pooed. It really must be a result of my software in one of the laptops not being totally up to date. Which of course, was just an excuse and an attempt to blame me, which is what they have done EVERY single time I called. (Annoying to say the least.) Finally after some really major diagnostic work and such, they sighed and said, they would credit me a week of service and that we would have a tech come out in 2 to 5 days. Thank you very much.
2 to 5 days!!!???? Honestly. Well to their credit, the tech is scheduled for Monday morning. As you read this, we might already be back on line. And to be honest, this is not intended to be a slam post on the slightly sub-par service of a certain satellite internet provider. Trust me. There are PLENTY of those on the internet. (Note to self… PLEASE google any company you intend to use for 2 years + and thousands of dollars…. might save another episode like this!) But what this post is, is a realization that life seemed to be a constant flow of comfort and discomfort and it’s how you deal with it that really matters in the end.
Comfort and discomfort. Really, that boils down life in so few words. Whether it is physical comfort and discomfort or mental or emotion or even spiritual… those two things seem to me to be huge barometers of life! This little nugget of wisdom wafted down to me last night as I lay in bed, in a dark, humid and slightly stuffy house. I was suddenly discomfortable. I was mad about the internet, ticked about money, uncomfortable in the muggy heat. There were things I wanted to accomplish this week that my fall last Saturday made difficult. I was still a little stiff and achy and my tush still was a bit tender and bruised. It was a bad fall. I was in discomfort.
I hadn’t gotten my garden ready. Jessy’s room was still waiting. I have no pictures on the walls, and the rooms are sort of half empty and looking like we’re a surveillance team from the FBI on the third week of reconnaissance. Rough. The grass needs to be mowed again. I wasn’t ready for my chickens. The car needs brakes bad. The internet was the one thing that last week was beginning to bring comfort back into my life. And it was gone again.
I was pretty fit to be tied and nearly in tears. Buyer’s regret. Had I done the wrong thing? Was Windhaven and this move wrong for us? What had I done…
My friend Jeff is a realtor and he told me when I felt this exact way about three springs ago when I bought an $800 mobile home shell… everyone experiences buyer’s regret. EVERYONE. Even the $250,000 perfect new home buyers. Everyone. It’s a mixture of stress and upheaval of routine and concerns that somehow, this decision was not the best. And if you just accept it, and move on, you’ll be fine. Nothing is perfect and everything can be worked into a silver lining, even in the darkest clouds. He’s really wise. I listened. I remembered that.
I know I did the right thing, I can see it when we take our evening walks and we revel in all that is OURS. Not the bank, not anyone, just us. I see it when old Dingo fairly prances and rushes out to roll in the little spot there the dead skunk had lain and he is one super happy old dog. I see it when the girls laugh and run around like little kids, playing with the dogs and throwing sticks and just laying in the high pasture grass talking. I see it in old Gypsy as she walks and her tail never stops wagging. She loves it here. I hear it in their voices as they talk about plans and ideas for the future. And how happy they are to finally have their own rooms! Jessy loves her big office and camps out there often, even to just watch DVDs. Maggie’s upper dorm lair is turning into one cool hippy hangout, even if it is a little warm. And I love my office and my bedroom. Every single morning I lay in my bed for nearly an hour, just watching the birds out my window and gazing out back at the whole place and I can’t even believe it… we own this place totally. It’s all ours.
Everyone seems to have a dream about ditching it all and moving to the country. I know because a lot of people here reading tell me and friends and folks all talk about it. But very few do it. It’s a hard thing to actually pack it all up and move out rurally. It’s not THAT far, but it’s far enough. When the brakes are going on your car and the closest repair place is well over 20 miles+, that’s an issue. It’s funny how just a few miles can make such a difference in so many ways.
Jessy and I were laughing in the car… driving back to our big Toledo trip on Wednesday. You might be rural if you think 10 miles to the stop-n-go is a quick trip. You might be rural if you don’t mind traveling 20 miles an hour behind a monster farm sprayer. You might be rural if you have to wait 20 minutes at the bank teller line for the whole story about the teller’s daughters high school adventure.
You might be rural if you’re filthy dirty from working on your property and you’re not embarrassed to go into the stop-n-go… and you’re not the worse looking human there!!!
Haha… yeah, it’s a slightly different world. Kinda like going to Canada. Or maybe North Dakota.
And we like it. No we love it! Heck, the kids are already getting the hang of the scents and not freaking out. We can tell when the farmer across the way is spreading manure. And the smell of mud. And flowering trees. It’s all good. We love it.
I just can’t be honest and write of only the really cool things. There are some dark little secrets out here, things that the fancy brochures conveniently leave out. But it’s all a matter of your comfort level. If you’re not comfortable with weird smells and bugs and mud and dirt, or even having to wait for the other sales lady to quit yanking on the only phone line to her girlfriend for your credit card order to be phoned in manually and approved, well, it’s probably not the place for you. Time is slow around here. When you make your living waiting for corn to grow, you’re not in a huge hurry for nearly anything. I thought I was a slow walker but I’ve seen some really slow walkers in the little town here. No particular place to be or go so they are just moseying along, taking in the sights.
You might be rural when the sight of an old man on a riding mower crossing main street is pretty normal.
You might be rural if any service call is measured in days, not hours.
You might be rural if you stock up on chips, pop and toliet paper for several weeks at a time at the discount Aldi’s store.
You might be rural if your mail lady is pleasant and stops to talk and visit a bit when she catches you out front.
Well, to get back to the beginning… and my idea about comfort and discomfort… I got to thinking hard about the things that were bothering me last night. I got up weary bones up and got a cool glass of ice tea and a couple motrin. I grabbed the little fan from my office and plugged it in. I laid back down and began to think about the work I HAD accomplished all week long, and how I managed to get all my clients caught up and done, and all the customer service matters from the first week of non-connection taken care of. Being too stiff to work outside a lot gave me the opportunity to get caught back up from the move. Everything that was urgent, was done. We had the materials for the next round for Jessy’s room and the girls were already talking about working on it because Saturday was going to be all rain. I had two different local fellow’s phone numbers that did car repairs quite reasonable. I didn’t have to be anywhere until Tuesday evening.
And then with a teeny little mew, Topaz jumped up and laid smack in the middle of my chest, purring and kneading me like she had been around for years. It was her first night loose in the big house and she was adjusting beautifully. She was so happy, you could tell. She was purring like a steam engine, way larger than her teeny little kitty body should allow. She resonated with comfort. Full belly of good food, spoiled by the girls with a little dish of cream and some lunch meat, snuggling with a nice warm human who likes to pet and pet little friendly felines. I was cooling off as well, all the stuffy room needed was a little air flow. I really didn’t need the internet for anything. I had plenty of things to do and to entertain myself with. Heck, I could lay in bed all morning tomorrow and read if I wanted to. Watch some dvds with the girls, take a walk in the light rain if I wanted to. The choices were all mine.
I ended up waking about 7 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Dingo wanted to go out and once he was up, every other canine wanted to go along for the ride. I let everyone out, and then I got out our breadmaker and a good breakmaker cookbook and started to read through it for a good one to try. I had mislaid our “master” recipe, and though I could almost make it by heart, I wasn’t super sure that I had the right measurements for the oil and salt, etc. So, I decided to try a new one. Got it all going, cleaned up the kitchen, emptied the dishwasher… which I have to tell you, I am really enjoying. (I still wash a lot of stuff by hand, and we only run it about once every couple days, but still, it is nice…) Dogs came back in and I fed them and the kitties, too. Got a good book… Joel Salatins “You Can Farm” and laid back down with Topaz rushing in to cuddle up and purr alongside me.
Around noon, the girls were up and active and the house was alive, even in the gloomy rainy overcast day. Everyone was SO pleased with our first loaf of homemade bread. We haven’t had it for over a month! I’m pretty sure I’m going to make cinnamon rolls for Sunday breakfast and surprise them. I forgot how good it tastes to eat homemade bread. Can’t wait till we can score a big oven because then I can make it in larger batches and make hot dog and hamburger buns and rolls and such. Pop in the freezer and enjoy all the time. We had to go into the little town nearby for a few staples… you know, pop and toliet paper. But that was enough excitement for the day and we came back so they could get started on Jessy’s walls. She’s applying a textured primer to the rough surfaces and already, it looks wonderful! Like old fashioned plaster, with little shadows and crannies… it will look lovely! And I’m typing this little post.
All is well. Oh yeah, and the internet people called and apologized and are going to be here first thing Monday morning! How lovely. We’ll survive. I’m actually hoping that tomorrow is a little less rainy and we can get the rest of my plants from the moby in the ground and sprinkling some flower seeds all over the place. I have a TON of zinnias to plant! It’s perfect weather and nice moist, warm, humid temps to get them growing well. Can’t wait.
So, I guess I have learned my lesson. The next time I start getting hot under the collar at my discomfort in life… I plan to just shut-up, and work to change it to comfort. Anyway possible. Whether it’s just changing my thinking, or getting away from the issues and stress, or just take some time to go for a walk or lay down and read or just listen to some music. Change discomfort to comfort and suddenly, things are not so bad. Easier said than done, sometimes, but other times? Easy to do… just hard to remember to do!!!