I suppose it's ok to say this now, but we never locked our door while we were in town-only rarely, if we were gone out of town and always at night of course. Since moving to the country, finding that our nearest visible neighbor is a mile away, we've taken up the habit of locking our doors whenever we're gone. But we've been sorta backed into this new habit because there is no way to leave our back door unlocked....it always locks behind us. And since at the beginning of our stay in the country we hadn't transferred house keys to our key chains, we've locked ourselves out and had to break in.
The first time it was the whole family. The second time, when I met a gutter guy outside at the barn, I walked out the door and pulled it shut behind me....then instantly said to Mr. Gutter Man-I just locked myself out. As if an epiphany of stupidity swept over me. We're correcting the issue with a heightened sense of keys and leaving the door open with only the screen door shut while out roaming the property.
The second tale has to do with creatures. Lots of them. When we first came to look at the house we noticed a massive amount of dead ladybugs on the floors....but then the house had been vacant for over 3 years. I would expect that. Then when we got the house temperature up after moving in, the ladybugs (more precisely those darned asian beetles) began to come out of the woodwork-literally. And recently it has been particularly bad as spring has sprung. Here's the thing: we tell people we have a ladybug problem and they in turn say, "oh I know, we have them too". And I always come back and say "no, seriously, we have a ladybug problem...we use a shop vac". So I am posting a picture of our typical ladybug infested window. I'm hoping someday they go away.
The third tale could have just as easily happened in town, but the excitement of an all volunteer fire department (2 townships actually) showing up late on a Sunday night to drag your dryer out the door seems particularly fitting for country living. This past Sunday evening, just before the kids' bedtime, my wife asked if I would come smell the BRAND NEW dryer (used only 3 weeks) because it "smelled hot". Well I guess so....when I went to inspect you could feel a tremendous amount of heat pouring out of it and it sounded as though the gas was still burning inside even with it off. So I began to pull the towels out that were drying and found one that was singed along with a large burn mark in the steel drum of the dryer. Uh, I think we have a fire.
So the kids and dog bolted out of the house, my wife followed with shoes and sweatshirts in tow, and I grabbed the phone and called 911 fearing that the shut-off mechanism in the dryer malfunctioned and was allowing fire to get back into the supply line (it didn't help that my wife said she saw a glow from the crawlspace below the dryer). I had sox and pajama bottoms on as I went outside with the phone. We all, including the wiener dog, crawled into the car which my wife backed away from the house and waited for the fire department to show....fully expecting to see the house erupt into flames. So, when they got there, I was giving information and feeling a little stupid that there probably wasn't a serious issue. At least not serious enough to require 14 emergency response vehicles lining our long drive and the county road back to the bridge. And it's a little humbling to be standing in sox with a draft making its way through your fly and trying to sound all manly-like. All three safety features failed in our new dryer-the melty thing hanging down in the photo is the rubber fin in the tumbler that got so hot that it-well-melted.
The fourth and final tale is another creature story. At 5:40 I woke up this morning to get in the shower to meet my buddies for coffee. My leg ached. What's up with that-like I got a major bruise. But I didn't see a bruise....instead I saw a tick. Crap! Now, as a kid I grew up playing in the woods and pasture and never got a tick. Ever. I live in town for 14 years, move out to the country and have one after just a month. So I made my wife get out of bed to help remove the sucker-the location of entry being somewhat difficult to have full access to. I said get a match and she just wanted to pull-after the first pull and it went deeper I repeated "GETAMATCH!" Then I said, oh no, let me do the match thing. It backed out and she pulled the rest out with the tweezers. "Where's the iodine? oh, that's right we don't believe in it." Peroxide. Well, my leg still aches like crazy and I'm waiting for word from my doc on what I may have contracted.