A friend asked me about a month ago, so how is life in Oregon? I responded with “The transition from City Gal to Ranch Gal has been interesting. I don’t freak out at bugs as much as I used to”. Lol mainly because the last time I freaked I fell and broke my foot. That was no bueno! It’s like when you’re walking in a park and a gnat gets in your mouth. You gag and spit and do whatever you have to, to get that thing OUT. Up here I used to do that, then you shrug and keep going. There’s lots of different sounds up here, no cars, airplanes, helicopters, and no sirens at all. But ducks, geese, cows, pheasants, turkeys and deer. And at night it’s dark. No no I mean DARK. You can walk out on my patio with the lights on and see the porch and about 8 feet beyond. Step out past the line of light and you cannot see.”
We laughed and she said sounds like you’re adjusting well. I said we sure are! I am a regular country gal now. Other than my foot it’s been a pretty great transition. (and I was feeling pretty darn proud I can tell you)
I had no idea of what going from the city to the county would entail. I knew I would have to get used to certain things.
Like – not having access to the variety of grocery shopping I used to. Or retail stores. I also knew I would have to get use to traveling longer distances to reach certain stores. For me the big retail stores are over an hour away, that’s ok, it’s a beautiful drive to get to them. I just make a day of it.
I also knew it would be hard leaving friends and family behind. But I keep in touch with my family with at least one on a daily basis (thank you modern technology). And I have made new friends up here that are just wonderful (shout outs to Kish and Anne).
Yard work we knew would triple, as now we have 7.5 acres to maintain. A push mower was out of the question, so we got a small riding mower. That, we later learned is only good for small, lol, areas like an acre of closer cut grass. So we use it for the ‘front and back’ yard. We had to get a much larger mower for the other 6 acres. So a used John Deere has now joined our vehicle fleet. (which includes 2 trailers, 2 cars, a pickup truck and 2 motorcycles) But all this has been a fun transition.
And then there was today…Today was an awesome day! We decided to play hooky from chores and go for a motorcycle ride. The weather was a delicious 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky! And Pearl (our gold wing) was just purring like a kitten.
We got home and I was greeted promptly by the evil black bug from hell (along with about 40 or so of his close personal buddies). It was about 1/2 to an inch inch long, but to me it was 6 inches. Then it flew at me and landed on my shirt and started to quickly crawl up. Now while all this happened in the matter of 10 seconds I had an agonizing slow motion flashback to the wasp that flew at me causing me to freak out, step back and break my foot. It was all happening again, only this time it was ON ME and it was working it’s way to my jugular vein! I was not only doing outstanding Ninja moves (like the ones you do when you walk into a spider web you didn’t see) I was a contender that could have taken down Steven Seagal who in every movie slaps the crap out of his opponent. It was an Oscar moment for me.
In S. Cal we had ants. The ever feared red fire ants (hhmm I am seeing a pattern here, I had a bad encounter with these when I was kid..), the small black ants that love to come in your home and raid your kitchen cupboards and the larger black ants that frequented school play yards and parks where they were often eradicated by some kid with a magnifying glass.
Up here we have the (shudder) Carpenter Ant. Holy mother of insects these things are creepy! Not sure how many of you remember the movie THEM! It was done in 1954 about a colony of giant ants. I am convinced that it is because whoever wrote that movie came to the great northwest and saw these ants and thought “whoa cool this is gonna freak people out!” I refuse to post a picture of them, so since you are reading this I know google is just a few keystrokes away.
So to my friend Pat, I am sorry…I lied! I thought I was used to the bugs…like when over a thousand crane flies descended on our house. They look like what we used to call ‘Daddy Long Legs’ only a bigger. Then we had to have the bee keepers come and get a large hive that settled itself into the walls of the small barn. Or when in the early summer when you walk down the property and these small tiny grasshoppers hop and dash about. But I was not prepared for these ginormous ants where you can see each of their sections clearly including their legs and mandibles. And the worst part, if you step on them and don’t quite kill them, and their body separates, the front half keeps moving! (shudders) Did I mention the yard spiders? Yeah…there are thousands of these in the grass and they scurry to and fro as you walk. Even those I got used to…well so long as they are outside. If they get inside I still scream at Derek “Get it! Get it!! It’s going under the couch!!”
Everyday it’s something new. I wonder if RAID makes a line of clothing..they should!