Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Country Folk

One more day of ferrying household goods out to Oak Hill, one more of fine tuning a feel for the new environs out among woodpeckers and low-hanging Spanish moss on surrounding oak trees. Trying now to establish a daily transference of furnishings, those things that I can pack and fit in trunk and back seat of my mid-sized Japanese car. Many would probably tell me that I’m going at it sissy fashion and could finish it all that much sooner if I stuffed the car and wore myself to a frazzled ruin. No thanks to that, the packing and loading and unloading and unpacking of a little at a time suits me just fine. At my slow and measured pace I’ll be in good shape when the professionals arrive on May 2 to move the bigger pieces of furniture and the heavier boxes of books.

A jumble of unpacked things on the mantle and fireplace

Easy does it, a little at a time and hours in the afternoon to sit under a tree and read or contemplate the hum of nature in this still new setting. The workings of the house and its idiosyncrasies reveals itself a little more each day. On this Tuesday, I discovered the remote control that governs both ceiling fan and light in the living room. I filled ice trays and was happy to find them frozen solid two hours later. I stocked the kitchen with dishcloths, paper towel, sponges, soap and a minimum of dishes, glasses and utensils and the refrigerator holds not just ice but an ample supply of iced tea. In the bathroom a fresh supply of soap, toilet paper, tissue and toothpaste adds a touch of hominess. Little by little.

A mostly empty kitchen for the time being

I sat on the screened porch for almost an hour reading and occasionally watching the birds and squirrels cavorting on the other side of the screen. Concerned about a large black wasp trapped inside and looking for a way out, I managed after a while to catch it by one thin leg in the soft rubber clamps of a three-foot litter-picker-upper, gently ushering it outside. It flew away in what I took to be a relieved burst of freedom.

Not altogether pleased with my cellphone reception inside the house. Calls break up and I'm forced to go outside, or at least out onto the screened porch to get clear reception. This is a result of the tin roof on the house, I think.

A view through the open front door

Heading back to the beach in late afternoon, I stopped for a few minutes to talk with my nearest neighbor and was impressed by his friendliness and willingness to offer help in the process of getting settled. From him I learned of another neighbor down the road who may be willing to mow (for a reasonable price) my one-acre yard during the hot months of summer. I'm certain he can ride the lawnmower in my shed much better than I. Continuing on, I stopped at the post office to ask about package deliveries at my rural address, concerned that the mailbox down the road can’t accommodate anything larger than letter-sized mail. Oak Hill’s post office is a one-woman operation and upon inquiring, the young woman dialed up the delivery person to inquire what the standard regarding packages is. Getting no answer, she said she would call me later to let me know. I could hardly believe my ears when I got voicemail a half hour later saying the mailman would happily take any packages the extra distance to my house. Nice people.


  1. I love the warmth that the fireplace gives....and the kitchen - you can imagine my comments about that. It looks fabulous. I can imagine myself cooking up a storm in that! You definitely are making new friends with your neighbors and they really seem helpful. Imagine the mailman making extra effort to bring packages to your door!

  2. I think the unhurried pace of moving smaller items is a fine way to get a daily feel for the new place. And it definitely sounds like those feelings are one of country comfort and the slow place of living that draws so many away from crowded sidewalks and car-jammed streets. From the looks of the fireplace and kitchen, the house appears to be comfortable and much more than a shack on Walden's pond.


About Me

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America