So, I decide that I want to slow things down a bit--the City is getting kind of rough--and I find this charming little house that was nestled into the foothills of Death Valley (its nickname). It wasn't the prettiest of houses, but I fell in love with its enormous, screened-in balcony that hung over the mountain stream. The only doubts I had were about the owner of the house, but since I wrote out cheques to cover the rent for the next 6 months, I wasn't too worried about him. So, I settle into the quiet life. Only, it's not so quiet. Each night, I am woke out of my sleep by a pair of racoons who, no matter what barrier I devise, break into my house and trash the balcony. Skunks spray all over my yard, startled, no doubt, by the bear who uses my lawn as a toilet (judging by the enormous piles of chokecherry pits he leaves behind). And the huge wildcat, I don't know what he does in my yard, and I wasn't going out to see. But, in spite of all of these visitors (and more), I still loved my house.
Yet, within three months, I was clawing my way back to the city.It started one day when I got out of the shower and opened the bathroom door to come face to face with my creepy landlord. He said he knocked first, but I didn't answer, so he let himself in. I asked him what he wanted. He told me the rent. I tell him its not due for a few more days, and he has the cheque I wrote him. He said he needed money now, as he is going away and won't be around to cash the cheque. I told him I don't have that much cash on me, so he took what I did have. Over the next few weeks, I notice my bar seems to be depleting, especially my cooking liqueurs, but I haven't had company. So, I buy extra locks for the doors and windows. One day soon after, I come home, and who's in my house after breaking out a window? You got it--my landlord. He starts to verbally attack me for locking him out of his house.
Then, I accept an invitation to a house in a nearby town. While there, a car comes charging up the road, shoots a round ammo into the house and then races away. Are you kidding me? A drive-by in this sleepy little town! I grew up in Toronto and have never had anything like this happen to me.
Then, my daughter makes a friend. She is asked to sleep over. It was a strange room, and there was this big stuffed animal in the corner that scared her when the lights went out. When the girl's father came in, and she expressed her fear, his solution was to grab it by the neck, haul it outside, take aim with his shotgun and blow its head off. Strangely, this didn't placate her.
Anyway, after 3 months of other weird and scary things happening, I packed it in and I run back to the city.
A week later, my landlord ended up in jail for a violent crime.
Slow, quiet life surrounded by simple folk, indeed.---Thank god I'm a city girl