Cabin (Trailer?) Fever

I have been feeling rather antsy the past couple weekends.  I’m used to living in a fairly large house plopped on 80 acres of land.  Plenty of space to roam about.

Here, on the other hand, there is nowhere to roam.  I can only sit in one room (the living/dining/kitchen) on a computer so long before I begin to get fantastically bored.

Last weekend I really wanted to be outside.  But there isn’t really any place to go.  I tried walking around the community center.  But…a) I can only walk along a paved pathway that goes around a playground so many times…and b) Walking on a cement drive with lots of buildings around it is not my idea of a nice walk.  I did discover one path in the woods behind the new (still unfinished) volunteer house.  However, I only walked a little ways down it because I had no idea where it ended up.  I didn’t want to end up in some strange dude’s backyard or something.

I thought about walking along the main road, but it’s pretty busy, and it has a lot of curves, and there isn’t much of a shoulder on any of these roads, because of all the, ya know, mountains.  Soooo I didn’t think that would be…a) very safe…or b) all that enjoyable.

My third option was a little side road that shares its entrance with the community center driveway.  This, now, seemed much more promising.  It is one of the one-lane roads that exist around here and it seemed to be pretty quiet.  I decided to give it a shot.

I really wish that I could walk down a road without feelings of apprehension.  I don’t know why is it that I can’t walk by a house without thinking… “Gee, I wonder if a creeper lives here who’s going to pop out of the bushes and grab me?”  Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of Disappeared and American Justice.  Maybe my natural worry-wart-ness just isn’t willing to relax amongst uncertainties.  Whatever it is, I wish we lived in a world where anyone could take a walk by themselves anywhere without having to worry about anything. But we don’t.

Anyway, if there were any creepers, they didn’t show themselves.  What did show themselves were the neighborhood dogs.  I had walked a short way down the road when I saw a small black dog coming towards me.

I stopped.

He stopped.

He eyed me.

I eyed him.

He sniffed the air.

I sniffed the air, then realized that his nose is way better than mine.

He started growling.

I started growling.

(Wait, no.  That’s not what I did.  I turned around.)

He started barking, but didn’t follow me.  That woke up the sleeping dog that I had just passed.  He also started barking.  Luckily he was tied up or he probably would have come to see me (a friendly visit, I’m sure).  Then some other dogs started barking on the other side of the road that I couldn’t see.  Then a lady started yelling at them.  I had destroyed the peace of the neighborhood.

My walk was done.

Bless Their Hearts (Part 1)

I thought that this would be a good time to share some of my Kentucky observations!  I haven’t been here very long, but, hey, it doesn’t take a long time to notice stuff, now does it?

To make it simple I’m going to say PHOOEY! to the need for transitional phrases and just make a list.

1.  The Court News:  I must say I really enjoy reading my local Oceana County newspaper at home.  Yeah, the news is kinda slow sometimes, but it’s nice to read about things that are gong on around home with people you know.  However, when reading the local Kentucky newspaper, I have discovered a little gem:  They put everything on the planet in their court news!  Know who got speeding tickets?  Yup.  Know how fast they were going when they got said speeding tickets?  Yup.  Know who forgot to put on their seatbelt?  Yup.  Know who has a busted taillight?  Yup.  It’s highly amusing to read.  I think I will add “get name in the court news section of the local newspaper” to my list of things to do before I leave Kentucky.  I think I might live on the wild side and not wear my seatbelt.  Yeah, that sounds like fun.

2. Spoonbread…and spoonbread related items: One of the things I did last weekend was go to the spoonbread festival.  I didn’t know what spoonbread was before I got there.  NEWS BULLETIN:  It’s mushy cornbread.  There were some other unusual things there…like fried pie…but I didn’t have any so I have nothing to report in that quarter.  There was some nice bluegrass music which I loved.  There was also some bollywood dancing…which is…interesting.  There was also the parade – a gigantic chunk of which consisted of a never ending stream of young spoonbread royalty.  Little Miss Spoonbread…Teen Spoonbread…Runner-up Miss Spoonbread….Miss Spoonbread Supreme….Miss Spoonbread Spoonbread Spoonbread…Miss Spoonbread Spoonbread Spoonbread Spoonbread…yeah, you get the idea.  Kinda different from what I’m used to…and not really that exciting to watch.  One kid is cute.  Two kids is cute.  Three kids is still kinda cute.  But a long string of cute kids does not entertainment make.  Oh, well, I don’t really like parades anyway.  I also saw a spoonbread eating contest.  I’ve never watched an eating contest before.  It consisted of a lot of……….eating.

3.  Slow Mo:  I don’t intend for this to be mean or anything, but people around here take forever to get things done.  They talk about being really busy but they don’t seem to be very busy…it’s a curious phenomenon.  Some of them also seem to be allergic to working on Fridays.  I prefer speed and efficiency myself.  Ah, well, to each his own.

4.  Off the beaten path: I thought that I lived kind of off the beaten path back home.  When I was told that McCreary County was off the beaten path, I said “Good.  That’s what I like.”  However, McCreary is really off the beaten path.  Most towns are about a thirty minute drive away.  The police are so far away that it would take a long time for them to get here, so they have community watch.  Most cell phones don’t get reception here.  Everyone around here is apparently related.  Or so I’ve been told… So yeah, I like off the beaten path, but this is a little more off the beaten path that I had imagined.  It’s interesting.

5.  Donations: CAP gets a lot of donations from people.  Some of them are rather unusual.  The other day when I was cleaning out a closet of donated kid’s stuff I discovered a teddy bear fairy book about, guess what?  Teddy. Bear. Fairies.   And the book included, guess what?  A tiny stuffed wearable teddy bear fairy.  Wow.  Great stuff.  (The book was pretty bad, in case you’re wondering.  I do not plan on reading it to my future children.)  There was also some pretty good stuff too.  I had fun looking through the kids books for the afterschool program library.  Brought back some good childhood reading memories.  I also saw some books I think I’m going to have to read.  I just started reading Fantastic Mr. Fox.  ‘Cuz I can.

And now…I’m going to end my list (temporarily).  ‘Cuz I can.

Doodling in the Doldrums

Not that this has anything to do with my first day of work, but….

I thought this would be a totally awesome time to talk about what I do when I’m bored!  Yay!

When I’m bored, like a lot of people, one of the things that I like to do is doodle.  My favorite doodles are cows, barns, flowers, and trees.  I also like to draw little comics.  The theme of which, SURPRISE! is usually boredom.  Said comics often end rather lamely as well.  As in a oh-n0-I’m-at-the-end-of-the-paper-I-need-to-end-this-immediately type of ending.  I probably will never have a career as a comic strip author….or should I say comic strip writer?  Hmmm.  I don’t really know the proper term.  Anyway, no matter.  On with the boring post.

Another thing that I like to do is write poems.  The topic?  GASP!  Boredom!  Here’s a sample of one that I discovered in an old college notebook (sorry content area literacy, you just weren’t a very exciting class):

Boredom

Dull mind,

tapping foot,

twitching fingers.

Restless.

 

Drooping eyelids,

nodding head,

slothful body.

Tired.

 

Restless.

Tired.

 

Tired.

Restless.

 

Bored!!!

Wow.  That.  Was.  Amazing.  In fact, I think I should publish a whole book filled with poems dealing with the subject of boredom.

But that, of course, would be boring.

Getting Oriented

O-ri-ent: verb.  1.  Align or position (something) relative to the points of a compass or other specified positions.  2. Adjust or tailor (something) to specified circumstances or needs.  3. Guide (someone) physically  in a specified direction.  4. Find one’s position in relation to new and strange surroundings.

During these first few days in Kentucky I have been spending a lot of time finding my position in relation to new and strange surroundings.  I’m living off the beaten path.  My cell phone has no reception.  I’m surrounded by tree covered mountains.  The side roads wind, rise, and dip a lot.  The main roads are a testament to the hard work that men did years ago in order to cut their way through the mountains.  Whenever I see something that I know must have taken a lot of work to accomplish, I always like to stop and think about the people who did it.  I suppose that’s one of the reasons that I love history so much…I have a great appreciation for everything those who have come before me have done.  I’m getting accustomed to living out of a box in a trailer until we can move into the new volunteer house that they’re in the process of building.  I’m getting used to walking to a different building to do my laundry and eat dinner.  I’m getting used to the fact that, yes, a button did come off of my cardigan, and yes, there is no one here to sew it back on except me (that task is still on my to-do list, I’m afraid).

And then there’s the people.  Most of which, I am happy to say, I have been pleased to have been able to meet.  My first week here consisted of going to CAP orientation at a camp with all of the other new volunteers.  I think my favorite part of it was getting to meet all sorts of people.  All sorts of people who have united for one purpose.  I met people here that I probably never would have met otherwise.  I think this is one of the things that I want to get out of this experience:  a greater love and appreciation for all people, even those with what I would consider to be questionable backgrounds.  I think that I sometimes dwell to much on the unsavory things that I know about people and not the good things.

I now could end this post with words of my own, but I think I’ll go ahead and pass it over to my all-time favorite U.S. President (my man Abraham Lincoln!):

“If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.”

Road Warriors

“And I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost is my favorite poet.  So many of his poems are about the world that I know.  The quiet morning air, the wayward cow, the walk in the woods, the hidden thoughts and contemplations of the human race.  I memorized The Road Not Taken for a poetry class once and, while I can’t completely recite it in whole, I can recite most of it from memory still.

I have an interesting relationship with poetry.  I always hated it in school.  It aggravated me that someone would write in a way that was so symbolic and fragmented that there was a high chance that the average Joe wasn’t going to understand their message.  I’ve always seen writing as the safest, most comfortable way to spill your guts.  I didn’t see any point in spilling your guts if most people weren’t going to understand it.  But my views on poetry have gradually changed.  I find that poetry is one of the best ways to relate a feeling….shortly, simply, and sweetly.  A poem can do things in two stanzas that it would take dozens of paragraphs of prose to accomplish.  Granted, I still don’t sit down and read poetry books…but I appreciate it a lot more now.

Speaking of The Road Not Taken, I also have always had an interesting relationship with roads.  They, like poetry, fulfill a purpose, but Geez-Oh-Pete do I hate driving on them!  My first ever driving experience was an interesting one.  I was in the car with my Mom at the end of my Grandma’s dirt road.  Once it was announced that I was going to drive the car the short distance down the road to Grandma’s house, my brothers immediately evacuated the car and started walking, citing safety issues.  Two scaredy cats disposed of, there was only one scaredy cat left in the car.  (Yeah, me.)  I started driving really slowly.  It took quite a while for the automatic doors to lock in the car (and I think they lock once you hit twenty miles an hour, so yeah, for a while there my on-foot brothers were going about as fast as me).  Once I got to my Grandma’s driveway, I stopped.  Her driveway has an incline on either side of it and I was so scared because I thought I was going to, I don’t know, tip over the edge and be stuck in a ditch.  (Yeah, it’s stupid.  But true.)  I really just wanted to get out of the car, but my Mother wouldn’t let me.  She made me drive in.  It took a while of me saying “No!  I can’t do it!” but I finally did it.

Since then, my driving skills have improved considerably.  But I still hate driving and there are still parts of it that just put me on edge.  That’s why I didn’t tackle the 10 hour drive down to Kentucky.  I rode while my Mother drove (yeah, she loves me).  But I still didn’t enjoy it.  Driving aside, I hate long car rides and this was the longest I’d ever been on by far.  It wears me out, even though I’m not doing anything except sitting.  Otherwise comfortable seats start to feel highly uncomfortable.  Public bathrooms aren’t all that fun to visit.  Riding in high traffic makes me nervous even when I’m not the one driving.  The radio starts to play songs that you’ve already heard multiple times today, or worse, starts playing all horrible songs that you don’t want to listen to.  The robot lady’s voice on the GPS gets old (although I love the GPS.  I am also directionaly challenged.  Another reason why I don’t like driving.)  I get tired of the fast food.  I start to ache in places all over.  Perhaps it’s the uncomfortable seats.  Or perhaps it’s my routine-loving homebody soul crying out in protest as I pull up my roots and drag them to the unknown.  Although, I don’t know that I’ve actually pulled up my roots.  I think that they’re still back in Hart.  I just stretched them down here.  I can still feel them pulling me back.

And I will go back when I finish my work here.

Because that’s where I belong.

A road warrior….

I will never be.