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Country roads lead me home.

People ask me all the time, “Aren’t you scared, living out there in the country all by yourself?”

And I always think, “Noooo…aren’t you  scared living in the city?”

Country crazies stick to ourselves themselves;  that’s why they live in the country.  Except for the ones who were born here and just never escaped.

But city crazies are the social types.  They don’t like to be alone, they like to come stand by you.  And they can follow you home and you wouldn’t even know it.  Do you think I wouldn’t figure it out if someone was following me home?

“Hmmm, that car has been behind me for 30 minutes, making every turn that I do, country road after country road…  Well, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.”

See my driveway? It’s there.

The city crazies would have stopped following me by the time I got on the highway, or if I go the back way, maybe they’d hang on 10 minutes or so, but I doubt it.

So, when people ask me that question, I always answer that most crime happens in the city, not the country.  We don’t get a lot of muggings around here, and people don’t drive out all this way just to cause trouble.  If something of yours gets stolen, you can almost guarantee you know the person who did it.  And all the crazy killer types don’t much care to bother with us.

To which I always get some variation of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre thrown at me.  “That’s not true!  Terrible things always happen down some back road, in some little cabin, in the middle of the woods!”

Have you even been listening to me?  Have you learned nothing from these movies?

Let me explain.  No, let me sum up: that’s just the country way of saying, “Hey you, kid!  Get off my lawn!”

My front yard.

Sometimes I do get the impression that the grass is out to get me.

Aren’t most of those movies about people who wind up in places they shouldn’t be?  Maybe they get lost and knock on the wrong door for directions.  Maybe their car breaks down in front of the wrong long dirt road.  Maybe they even go looking for mischief – and then they find it.  Whatever the case, the country crazies don’t generally come out looking for you. It’s not really their fault if you go find them, is it? Nobody invited you.

So no, creepy slasher movies that happen way out in the country don’t make me scared to live, well, way out in the country.  I do, however, believe in “better safe than sorry.”  So I have two security systems in place:

Louis: security guard, first defense, weapon of mass barking, attack dog (trained in both the I Will Jump on You I Can Reach Your Knees and Just Because I Won’t Come Near You Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Dangerous schools of combat).

Zombie early warning system. Crack the door and look in the mirror before you open up the storm door. Okay, this is not a great plan, but it’s what I’ve got.

Having said all this, I’ll admit that I get a little weirded out if Louis is acting nervous. Not so much when we’re outside, because I figure it’s just another animal that he’s smelling. But when he’s acting like that inside the house? That’s creepy.

And every now and then, I’ll come up that long, dark (cause it’s always night when this happens) driveway, pull up to the house, and the chills will go down my spine. It’s the sharks all over again: something unseen and menacing and utterly imaginary is stalking me. I’ll go searching through closets and under beds and around corners and into dark rooms. No boogie man is going to jump out at me! Better to face my fears and know for sure I’m foolish there is nothing to worry about.  Of course I never find anything; I’m the only crazy one there.

Oh, and stay off my lawn.

Items of Interest:

What to do if you think you’re in a scary movie

Wherefore At My Door, Opossum, Oh Possum

A Snake in the Grass…err…Weeds

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18 Comments Post a comment
  1. Haha, that was so funny!
    I can definitely relate to it, I’ve been a country girl all my life until university hit and I had to move as of 1 week ago. In the countryside everybody knows everybody, so you can spot the “creepy stranger type” miles away because they’ll look totally out of place and every curtain will be twitching. In the city I really have to get used to always checking who is behind me, are they standing too close to comfort? Is my bag safe? Is the street lit well enough? When it is dark can I get a lift home? (when home is only a two minute walk away.)
    I’m still a country girl at heart! 😀

    September 10, 2012
    • I’ve lived in a small city and a medium size city, and worked in a big city, but this is my home! I wish it were closer, and I go through periods when I really want to move. Even now, I would consider moving back into town, just to be closer to everyone and everything. But I wonder how long it would be before I was sorry that I left the country?

      I’m so excited for you and your new university experience. Study hard! But make the most of what the city has to offer. I wish I had done more when I lived in the city – taken advantage of more of the things there are to do.

      September 10, 2012
  2. Michael is from a very small town, and he’s always leaving stuff on the front porch, leaving the car windows down all night, and forgetting to lock the doors. It drives me nuts. Having grown up in the city, I’m always vigilant and on alert. It’s just part of the package.

    Once when I mentioned I was going to Big Bend NP to do some camping and hiking, a friend mentioned that a hiker had been killed there on the trail. She said, “You couldn’t pay me to go there,” completely ignoring the fact that her chances of being murdered in Dallas are much higher than on an obscure trail in a national park! I guess bad things can happen anywhere, even in the country, but I’m with you.

    September 10, 2012
    • That’s true, it’s all about the perspective. Maybe some people feel safer in the crowd, like wild animals running in the pack. With any luck, you won’t be the one picked off! I’m sure, for many people, being out on a trail with no one around for who knows how many miles would be a creepy feeling.

      I lived here about 14 years before I stopped locking my car doors overnight. But there’s no way I’d leave my front door unlocked, no matter how (fairly) safe I feel. I did live in the city most of my life, up until I moved here, and I never thought much of it. Now when I house-sit for my sister or my parents, I feel like eyes are always on me. Which is absurd. But since no one can see my house, and all the neighbors can see their houses, I just get wigged out. I guess it’s all what you get used to!

      September 10, 2012
  3. I grew up in a small town and live in DC now. When I visit my parents now, I’m afraid of everything: the silence, unchained dogs, ticks… You name it. I’ll take a good old fashioned mugging any day. Or not.

    September 10, 2012
    • I love when you talk about DC, because I can picture some parts of it! I live about 30 minutes south of Fredericksburg. It’s kind of amazing how much Fred. has grown since I was a kid, but there’s still a lot of “country” left where I am.

      When I read about you walking everywhere or going to the library or about your apartment, I always think, “cool!” But I don’t think I’d last very long, haha!

      When I stay the night in Fred., the sounds at night are distracting. But I’m scared of ticks, too! That is one country thing I could live without.

      September 10, 2012
  4. My imagination tends to get the better of me no matter if I’m in the country or the city. Sometimes I drive myself crazy.

    September 11, 2012
    • Well, I’m not surprised to hear that, because your imagination is about 10 times better than mine! It makes perfect sense that your’s would run away with you – it’s been exercising! Mine is kind of flabby, and doesn’t have the wind to get very far. 🙂

      September 11, 2012
  5. You lucky girl! I love your lawn and driveway! I can only imagine the vast space and clean country air. This is coming from someone who lives in a country that is known as “the little red dot” Haha love your security systems, especially Louis!

    September 11, 2012
    • It does seem like a vast space when you compare it to some of the big houses with tiny little lawns that they have in some of the subdivisions in the city. No privacy there at all – that is, unless you stay in the house.

      It is nice to be in the country! But what you have is all the travel! I love your posts where you just seem to skip away to this city or that, this country or that. You get to see more of the world than I ever will, and that’s a great thing for you!! I can’t cross my state by car in less than 7 or 8 hours, and it would take me days to get from one end of the country to another by car. And I’m not flying!!

      September 11, 2012
  6. I love using the mirror for checking for zombies. I’m going to get one. A mirror. Not a zombie.

    September 12, 2012
    • Good! I love to help others! Isn’t it about time to put up your door zombie? I know it’s just September, but is it ever really too early for a door zombie?

      And I think he’s like a sign to the other zombies that they should keep going, like, “Hey ya’ll, I got this one, shuffle along.” Kind of like the “occupied” sign on a port-o-potty.

      September 12, 2012
  7. I’m afraid of being alone, quiet, the dark, and especially when it’s dark outside and I can only see my own reflection in the window. Because of that, the country and even the suburbs scare me a little more than the city.

    I still get freaked out when I’m home alone in Brooklyn sometimes but if I can hear my downstairs neighbor singing opera or my next door neighbor’s squawking bird, I feel a little better.

    September 12, 2012
    • Thank you so much for taking time to comment! Also, hi!

      We’re all so different about what scares us, but we all have some kind of fear. It’s comforting to know that other people get freaked out, too. I’m mostly the opposite – in the city, every little noise is magnified and is somebody coming to get me. I do sometimes get scared of all that darkness outside of my house, but very rarely. I have motion lights so I can see when I get home late, but that can be scary if they come on late at night. It’s usually a rabbit or possum, sometimes deer. But I’d be lying to say I was never nervous! Just mostly I’m not 🙂

      September 12, 2012
  8. What a great post~I love your security systems! Several years ago I lived in Peoria and was headed out to the country with a friend of mine. The further out we got the more I felt myself relax, so I was startled to realize she was starting to freak out! Ha! Just like you said, it’s all what we’re used to.

    September 14, 2012
    • That’s how I feel when I get closer to home after leaving work or shopping or whatever. I start relaxing…driving slower…happy…… I can understand people getting freaked out in the dark, though – you can’t see what’s just beyond your headlights and all. Also, I can see how you’d get used to having access to help. We don’t think about that until you start driving away from all those stores and people and lights. No gas stations, no cops, etc. But as long as my tank has gas in it, I’m fine! I knew you were a country girl, too!!

      September 14, 2012
  9. It is true that most crimes happen in the cities. But I guess what scares people about the country is not having people nearby to count on, if something does go wrong. What if you’re the sane types and the lost person knocking on your doorway is a crazy (country or city)? You’d have to run for miles before you get to another house.

    Another thing that scares me about not having people nearby, is not knowing if something is wrong. If a zombie attack were to break out, in the city, I’d know immediately. My neighbours would be running around screaming perhaps. That would give me an early warning. But in the country?

    Or, what if, there’s an earthquake and I’m shit scared? Nobody around to console me.

    I suppose it’s just getting used to where you live. You’re the country mouse, I’m the city mouse. I love the country, but in the dark, I think it gets Too dark and lonely to be living by myself. 😛

    September 17, 2012
    • 🙂 You make a lot of great points!! As far as strangers knocking on your door in the country, well, it just doesn’t happen much. You hear the car and see them coming way before they get to the door. At least at my house, anyway. There are plenty of houses right on the road where that would be more possible. But mostly people don’t come out here unless they have a specific purpose. Of course, what if that specific purpose was to GET YOU? So I don’t know…

      Not having close help is about the only thing that worries me a little bit sometimes. If I had an accident, then that would be bad for me. No big deal if I’m carrying my cell phone, but what if I’m just going outside and I fall down the stairs? Not good.

      But. I definitely hear you about the zombie attack. Sometimes I wonder if it would be safer in the country. Because there is so much space with little population density, would most or all of the zombies shuffle their way to the city areas? Not having television means I am always late to know what’s going on, so I have been sure for a long time that I’d be a quick goner in the first wave of zombie attacks. I’d not know what was happening and just get up and drive to work like normal. I almost deserve to be a zombie, don’t I? But I guess I’d see it on Twitter. Maybe.

      Why’d you have to put that in my head? 😉

      September 17, 2012

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