100 Things About Me #91

This Is My Country

Here are two photographs from Snow Day 2007, capturing the view from our porch. They're as good as any to illustrate why we moved to our own private Mayberry.

I plodded onto the landing at the top of those stairs one February afternoon in 1999.

A few hours earlier:

"My, God, it's freakin' Jurassic Park!" I exclaimed, as we turned down the overgrown dirt road leading to our formerly cosmopolitan friends' new home in the countryside forest. "What are they thinking? There's no Starbucks! The nearest laundromat is a rock. I'm turning this car around at the first Gomer."

Later, having imbibed the serenity and natural beauty of the rural surroundings, I wondered aloud if there were any other lots nearby. At that very instant, I saw the "House for Sale" sign with an arrow pointed up the trail.

I waited for underscoring by Vic Mizzy, but it didn't happen. We set out on foot.

My spiritual transformation, as the unexpected creek appeared below the bluff, must have been like Christopher Columbus setting eyes on the new world for the first time. I knew within five seconds. I had to have that.

I turned to my buddy, Scott, and said, "I'm in!"

Three months later, we were. We bought the place and moved into the cabin.

Um, not Scott, but Donna moved with me. We were long married and we had the cats and dishes and the toaster oven with commingled bubbled cheese residues. It made sense.

Scott had no dowry, so bye, drive safely.

The poor guy is still in shock about our relocation. I'm beginning to think Scott never pictured lifelong suburbanite me as a mountain man. He's back in the big city, 70 miles south, sipping juice boxes in his blankie, mumbling to evaporated milk, and striping oranges to look like Charlie Brown's shirt.

That whole split-second turn of events and upheaval of lifestyles was unlike me. I'm not one for snap decisions. I'm still waffling on who shot J.R.

Meanwhile, I've been quite splendid as a mountain man. Oh, there was a learning curve, especially with the locals. I have to be careful who I say the word "splendid" to and I make every effort to hide my splendid smile -- and my Splenda®.

The fake limp gets me the over-40 demographics, but I had to drop the occasional "We-e-e-ll doggies!" to ward off the ghost of Irene Ryan.

I'm actually adored. My "free flapjacks for the chillun" policy does the trick.

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