My husband decided to leave the fire service after a 22-year career. He wasn’t sure what he’d do next, so we sold our four-bedroom house in town and bought a charming two-bedroom farm house that needed a lot of work; it was “in the country.”
It was on what I call a ‘serial killer’ road. You know, like Eddie Lee Norton Road. Sounds like a serial killer, but most likely is the name of someone who once owned the property, or maybe a cousin.
It was a cool, clear November evening and we were sitting on the back porch. The sky was lit up with a billion stars. That’s the gift of living outside of Atlanta or its many suburbs. There was supposed to be a big showing of ‘shooting stars’ that night. We were looking for the ones we could spot. It was a beautiful and chilly night. It was late.
Then I heard sounds that sent me into a panic. The foot steps were running around the side of the house; I could hear the heavy breathing. My heart began pounding; I began to hyperventilate. I stood up, almost following off the two inch rubber bottoms of my flip-flops. My legs buckled. I turned around to grab for the door handle. I couldn’t find it. I wanted to speak, but my lips were frozen. No words would come out.
My husband remained calm. He stood up behind me and said, “Calm down. What’s wrong? Dawn, the door handle is on the other side. Here, here. Let me get it for you.”
Finally, I made it into the mud room safely. My husband followed me. He asked, “What’s wrong?” I finally got the words formed. “Someone’s out there! Didn’t you here the footsteps running on the leaves? I could hear him breathing.”
“Oh, do you mean did I hear the buck snorting and crunching on the leaves as he ran through the yard into the woods? Yeah, I heard that!”
I wish I could say that was the one and only time I was jumpy in that ‘charming’ farmhouse, but there were several. Over the next few months my husband did get the house looking pretty cozy. I loved the kitchen. But late in the spring, just about that time the house was done, I got a call from a college in South Florida asking me to come back to work there. It was a nice opportunity for me.
So we sold our farm house within two-weeks time, packed and moved back to the suburbs of another busy city to a new house on Exotica Lane where people have pools, privacy fences, and zero-lot lines.
The wildest animal we ever had in our backyard was a raccoon which we caught in a cage and drove him west a couple miles to the sugar cane fields and let him go! I didn’t see a lot of stars in that backyard, but I enjoyed sitting on my screened-in back porch and admiring my Hibiscus.
It seems that just maybe I’m not a farm girl. Any scary stories to tell of your time on the farm or in the woods? 😉