There are a lot of things about our Enchanted Forest that are other than I expected. It’s not bad, it’s just different than my expectations. I think that even though a person might imagine what it would be like to live in a different sort of place, her imagination doesn’t really match up to reality.
For example, I expected the forest to be teeming with birds and alive with their songs. While we do see or hear some unusual birds, such as Pileated Woodpeckers and Hermit Thrushes, we actually don’t see as many birds up here as we did in the south. I think it’s probably because they live in a huge forest and they are busy surviving. I’m very sure we’d see more birds if we had feeders set out. However, bears enjoy the feeders as well so we can’t put them out until the bears go to sleep for the winter. It will be interesting to see what birds are drawn to the feeders in the winter.
I also expected that forest night sounds would replace city night sounds so that instead of hearing cars and people, we’d hear sounds such as owls hooting, and coyotes yapping, and wolves howling. I thought the forest would be alive with sounds. We do occasionally hear coyotes, but mostly we hear…silence. It is profoundly quiet in our forest at night–and also very, very dark. I don’t mind. In fact, I really enjoy it. It’s just different than I expected.
I could never have anticipated how I would feel when someone arrives at our house and honks their horn. I guess that’s what they do around here to sort of say, “Hello the house! We are here!” It always totally startles me because our property is secluded and we can’t see our neighbors. Unless I drive somewhere, I go days without seeing anyone other than my family.
This morning we were expecting the Gravel Man to deliver pea stone for our driveway but I was still very startled when I suddenly heard, “Honk! Honk!” I leaped up and yelled to EJ, “EJ! EJ! Wake up! Wake up! The Gravel Man is here!” and EJ jerked awake, accidentally pulling the electrodes of his little monitor that he has to wear for two weeks to make sure his heart is functioning ok. But then I saw that it wasn’t the Gravel Man after all–it was our letter carrier. I went outside and, since this was the first time we had actually met, we introduced ourselves. She seemed very nice. She had driven all the way up to our house to deliver our mail rather than put it in our mailbox because she had a package for us. She searched through the packages in her trunk until she found ours. I have never lived in the country before, and I think the way letters and packages are delivered is charming.
A little while later, the Gravel Man arrived with 15 tons of pea stone in his dump truck. Yes, 15 TONS! EJ asked him to dump it in three different piles down the driveway. After he left, we went out with a garden rake, wheel barrow, and shovels and started shoveling 15 TONS of pea stone into the gully at the right side of the driveway. We mostly concentrated on the one furthest from the house because it was the only pile that we couldn’t drive around. We had to get the pile gone before JJ returned from work at around 6:30 p.m. It was a lot of hard work and we took breaks whenever we got too tired or overheated. We got almost all of the pea stone into the gully. Fifteen tons of pea stone is a lot when we are shoveling it by hand, but I think we will need at least another 15 tons before we are finished.
As I worked, I imagined that shoveling rocks is my Enchanted Weight Loss Program. We got TONS of exercise today (pun intended). If this doesn’t give me muscles and melt the weight off me, I will scream in despair. Ok, maybe not. Maybe I will just whimper in disappointment. Besides the fact that exercise equipment tends to injure me (especially when I fall over them), I think they are much too boring. I would much rather shovel rocks or go for walks than use a treadmill or exercise bike.
But, oh, tonight EJ and I are very tired and quite crippled.