This morning I was very startled to see an unfamiliar car coming up the driveway. Just about the only people who drive up to the house is the UPS, FedEx, or USPS people with the occasional package for us–and this wasn’t them. Instead, it was a woman and her little boy. I could tell right away that they were Jehovah Witnesses. EJ always nicely chats with JWs when they come to the door and he shares with them what we believe–which is only fair because we didn’t ask them to come to our house. However, I just politely say, “No thanks, I’m not interested.” They feel to me like telemarketers and I don’t want them to take up my time, which is probably not very “Christian” of me, but I’ve never found religious knocking on doors of strangers very appealing. I’d rather “give an answer to everyone who asks” because if they ask about what I believe then they have invited me to share and are more willing to listen. I think that when strangers are approached by religious people they tend to get more defensive and hostile. That’s just my opinion.
Because we live in our Enchanted Forest, I’ve often been tempted to put up signs along the driveway like this:
After the JWs’ visit, JJ said he wanted to put up a sign that said,
When EJ got home from work, I asked him if he could make me a sign like this to put at the bottom of our driveway:
I would add: “Unless you are handing out money or selling cookies or delivering packages…” because I certainly wouldn’t want to scare away the UPS or FedEx guys.
This makes me sound extremely anti-social, which I’m not really. Well, I’m very introverted but I’m only temporarily (I think) anti-social. We have had so many difficulties in our lives–especially in the last few years with JJ’s cancer and all–that we got over-stressed and over-whelmed and over-exhausted and burned out and PTSDed. The slightest things still trigger anxiety attacks–although we are gradually getting stronger. And we’ve had so many toxic people in our lives that we are really peopled out. Someday I will probably pursue local friendships, but right now we need–more than anything–quiet and rest.
Of course, we have talked several times with our neighbor across the road, and EJ has met one or two other neighbors, but our property doesn’t make it easy to meet neighbors. It’s not like we can see them across the yard and stroll over to chat with them. We live on a hill, surrounded by gullies and hills, in a forest. In the winter we can see a couple of our neighbors’ houses, but in the warmer months, the leaves on the trees block our view so it’s as if we are the only ones in the world. The house closest to us is the owners’ vacation retreat and they come up only a few times during the summer. EJ said it feels as if we are living in a “delicious secret” hidden from the world.
I have lived in a town all my life, and I think it’s interesting to see how my focus changes when I live in the country. In the town, the focus is on people–neighbors coming and going, and working in their yards or on their houses, and riding their bikes along the street or walking their dogs. In the country, I’m much more aware of the wildlife that share my property–the resident crows soaring and cawing overhead, the pileated and other woodpeckers drilling into the trees, the hermit thrushes magically fluting, and the other birds that live in our forest. I’m aware of the deer that graze on our grasses and the wild turkeys. During most of the year, depending on the season, the turkeys appear in a flock to eat our birdseed or the grasshoppers. Right now, we keep seeing a solitary female on our property, and I suspect she is–or soon will be–nesting. We also have at least two rabbits living among the trees at the bottom of the driveway.
I’m really enjoying these quiet, undemanding neighbors.
Although it might not sound like it, I’m actually very fulfilled in my life. I am doing activities that I really enjoy: I write this blog, I co-host a regular program on the largest INFJ group on Facebook, I am raising chickens and ducks, and I am starting my on-line business. I also have friends from all over the world who I communicate with at Facebook, so I am not lonely in the least. I love my life.