Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A whole glass full of strange.

There are pros and cons to living in the country. Just to define what I call country: we live 20 km from a town with a population of 1500 and 12 km from a convenience store. When my brother in law first visited, he chuckled that a store 12 km away would still be considered convenient. We have 2 neighbours, one across the road from us that is only visible in the winter, the other a 1/2 km down the road. The area we live in, called Greenhill, consists of a road (Greenhill Rd) and about 150 people, though I'm guessing at that, it's probably less.

A pro to living in the country, we have land. Enough to raise cattle and keep a horse. The dog isn't tied, the cat hunts. Deer visit from time to time.

Con: Coyotes and bears visit from time to time too.

Pro: Only the people who live on our road, travel on our road. Generally there are no strangers (I'll add more to that part later).

Con: The mail man won't deliver to us. We apparently live outside every post office's coverage area.

Pro: Because there are so few of us, neighbours look out for each other. To me, that is a huge pro.

Pro: Privacy. No one is around. No unexpected visitors.

Con: Privacy. No one is around. Sometimes we get unexpected visitors.

Privacy is nice. A big reason why we love the country so much. The reason it's a con too is because things like what happen this morning do happen. Maybe they occur in more populated towns too, I don't know. I've never really lived in one.

At 5:30 am this morning our door bell rang. We immediately thought the cause of such an early morning visitor was that something happened to the cows. Or worse, something happened to Fred, our neighbour. Mart answered the door and saw a man, mid thirties, soaking wet from the knees down walking around the back of the house. Mart went out the kitchen door to the deck and found him drinking water from the outdoor tap.

Mart: What are you doing?

Man: I'm thirsty, I was told you'd oblige.

Mart: (seeing his soaked clothes and coming to the only conclusion that made any sense) Did you get your 4 wheeler stuck or something?

Man: Yeah, it's exhausting

Mart: Have you been out all night?

Man: No, all afternoon.

Mart: It's 5:30 in the morning.

Man: Yeah, I know.

Mart: Well get your water and get out of here.

The man, obviously out of it, saw no problem standing uninvited in our back yard drinking from our tap. He didn't ask permission, say thanks or ask for help. He drank and drank and drank, then staggered down our driveway. We aren't sure if he was drunk, stoned, dehydrated, injured, or all of the above. He looked like he had a very rough night.

I spent the morning sleeping off what felt like an unearned hangover headache, half expecting someone to come by and ask if we'd seen a man or a 4 wheeler. We have no idea where he came from or where he went. He may not have even been driving a 4 wheeler through the back woodlot and river. People do, so it's logical, but who knows. I'm just not a fan of a stranger showing up on my front steps at 5:30 in the morning. I wonder if he's ok, but I hope he doesn't come back. He wasn't looking to break in, or steal, he was just there for water. The whole thing was just weird. Maybe this sort of thing is kind of a pro: strangers steal water, not possessions.


sweetsalty kate said...

Oh my gosh... that's beyond bizarre!

Anonymous said...

Eh, I live 15 minutes from downtown but it's pretty country where I am. I had a drunk knock on my door once at 2:30AM asking me to call him a cab.

You get the strange, the odd, the bizarre no matter where you live, I think.

misty said...

We've had folks come to the door looking for a phone. I don't think I'd mind the drunk looking for a cab. What struck me so weird is that he didn't ask for anything. Didn't ask for the phone, or a ride, or where he was or anything. Just took water and staggered away. Staggered to where? We're a hundred miles from nowhere.
But I guess you're right, the crazies are everywhere.

Bon said...

the whole story reminds me of some kinda weird time travel visitor from the dustbowl times, wandering through, down on his luck. except, um, well...that's not so likely, huh?

still. very bizarre. and fascinating.