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Monday, August 18, 2008

Life with Dial Up and Coyotes

I am unable to get high speed internet service and coyotes have recently invaded my back yard.

I never really considered myself to be a country dweller, not really, at least not since I was a child. Civilization is just a mile or two down the road. I can even see a big neon Arby’s sign from my front porch if it’s a clear night and no trees are in the way.

But in one week I was told high speed internet service was not available in my area and a pack of coyotes were spotted eating something (gross) in my backyard. Suddenly I went from being living in a comfortably quiet area to feeling like an isolated farm girl out in the middle of nowhere in 1853. Strange.

While I definitely do not live in a city or even in a suburban neighborhood, I have never really believed that I live out in the boondocks. I’ve been to the boondocks...you know...way out in the middle of nowhere (Ithink I might have been lost there) and that is not where I live. Yet suddenly I am starting to wonder.

OK, there was an old ramshackle outhouse and a falling down chicken coop in my back yard when I first moved in and there are a lot of cornfields around, but that doesn’t mean I live out in the boonies…does it?

Oh there is also a horse farm around the corner. And that guy at the end of the street used to have cows or a cow, I am not sure. The only and last time I heard much from Bessie was when she was standing in the middle of the road blocking traffic. A police officer and his car were shielding her and rerouting traffic. Like people couldn’t see the huge cow in the middle of the road. Who can’t see a cow in the middle of the road? They are pretty big.

Anyway, cow or no cow I’ve never really considered myself to be a “country” girl. Sure I have a garden and I deal with stuff city people probably never do, like wildlife. There’s a lot of that in my yard.

I have all kinds of creatures big and small that live in or near my yard; bunnies, skunks, groundhogs, raccoons – lots of raccoons, squirrels, possums, deer and many, many species of birds. Hawks, eagles, woodpeckers, cranes, and the usual robins, wrens, blue jays, and that pesky cardinal that wakes me up bright and early every morning by pecking on my window (have I mentioned I am so NOT a morning person). I am even graced with ducks in the spring when the backyard is full of water.

My whole family has seen beautiful red foxes except for me. I guess I don’t wake up early enough to see the fox. (Again, NOT a morning person)

Other than the raccoons that drive me crazy sometimes by getting into the garbage, the wildlife has never disturbed me much. Ok there was that one night I had that fight with a raccoon that involved an air soft gun, a squirt bottle and a bucket of water and ended with the drenched raccoon eating a plate of french-fries I put out for it. I guess that means he won.

Over the years my wildlife encounters have been comical not frightening, not too much anyway. I have heard a groundhog scream (at least I think it was the groundhog, could have been me), I’ve been run over by a possum and annoyed by birds and entertained by squirrel antics.

Of course there was that night something was making so much noise in the backyard my ex-firefighter husband and an armed police officer wouldn’t even go back there to check it out. I still wonder what it was. It sounded big and definitely not human that's for sure.

I’ve enjoyed my life here. It’s beautiful and usually pretty quiet. But now I’m worried and stressed. Being a writer I really need high speed internet to get my research done faster and more efficiently... and then there’s the coyotes…

I have small children and my elderly mother (don't tell her I called her that she'd have a fit) lives next door. I don’t want to worry about them when they are outside. Plus my mom has a lot of cats... (coyote bait).

I don’t know what gives me more worries, the coyotes or lack of high speed. My husband assures me he’ll take care of the coyotes. He is, after all, a pest control technician and a hunter.
I do have faith (maybe) in his abilities as far as taking care of the coyote problem but what the heck am I going to do about internet access? He can't do anything about that.

ATT be damned (long story, first I was getting it hooked up then they cancelled my order then they said no service in my area) and... well... let's just say Comcast and I have issues and we'll leave it at that. I'm not sure about Verizon yet and no Charter in my area and satellite is just too expensive and unreliable.

I guess I’ll just have to make the best of living in the boonies with dial up and coyotes for now.

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