Monday, April 8, 2013
Homestead: Damn DARK Out Here!
And so we began to get ourselves moved into the house WAY out in the country.
On the day before my partner came out there I went out and worked to try to arrange the furniture around in the living room and bedrooms according to our little floor plans that we had drawn up on graph paper.
The house had some furniture in it. Some of it was Amish made, quality furniture that her dad had bought especially for the new house. There were also two couches that had seen better days, but were tolerable if you didn't mind sinking into the springs and feeling like you were sitting on the floor. We had to endure them as there was no place else for them to go.
I puttered around in the house and at one point went into the room that was to be my bedroom. It had two big windows which were on the front of the house. As I entered the room I glanced out in the front yard at the front gravel drive.
A beautiful doe returned my gaze.
She just stood there, about 20 yards away from the window. It was totally silent and she and I locked eyes for a moment. My heart just fluttered with joy at such beauty right outside my window.
It was a moment I never forgot. My first deer sighting on the ridge!
That evening I was planning to stay the night. I had my little Maxi with me and as it got dark I realized there were no lamps in the house! There also were no curtains at the windows to the doors in the hallway and kitchen.
Who thinks about these kinds of things in advance?
Not only that, but there were NO street lights of any kind around and it was "pitch dark" outside. And I mean DARK.
My cell service at the time did not work out there except on a "hit and miss" basis, so I tried to call home in the burbs and had to drive up the road to get a signal.
I said I was heading home as I was "freaking out" with no lights, no curtains, and no TV for company. At this point we knew no one out there and everything seemed strange and DARK! So I did not want to linger out there alone where I felt like someone was looking in at every window!
Once we moved in we got curtains for the door windows and the front windows. Eventually we got TV in out there, but for about 2 weeks we only watched DVDs when we wanted that sort of entertainment.
I remember one night feeling freaked out about not seeing a living soul or hearing a noise or seeing a light outside and I sat in my room on the double mattresses that were stacked in the corner and listened to David Letterman on a snowy TV picture.
It was like listening to old time radio and better than nothing. Even radio signals failed most times to reach out there, so it was really like being on another planet at times. Especially when we first moved out there and weren't used to it.
I recall a conversation that I eventually had with an elderly neighbor about not being able to get weather alerts out there because the radio and TV did not work during storms and the nearest town was 10 miles away.
His response was: "If I want to know what the weather is, I step out on the front porch!"
That pretty much sums up how it was out there.
Even for tornadoes: I'd step out on the back porch, scan the skies, and cock my head into the wind to listen for the sound of the "freight train" winds rolling up over the hills from the river about 10 miles away.
This led for some very scarey moments during spring storms, that's for sure!
Eventually we got used to the DARK. I even came to love it.
Mostly I loved going out on the back porch at night and looking up at the Milky Way in the black velvet sky and occasionally seeing a shooting star.
The dark became a safe place, a cocoon of sorts, from city ways and night sky pollution.I miss those dark skies.
I haven't gazed on a star since I moved to the burbs last autumn. I've watched the moon a time or two, however, and it always brings me back to my country ways of being in touch with the dark night sights, peaceful sounds and the solitude of the surrounding woods.
(photos courtesy of internet photo bucket and BlueRidgeRuckus)