Friday, August 5, 2011

The Call of the Wild.

When I went up to the cottage, we did the usual things. We brought our books and towels to read on the dock. We swam in fish infested* lake water. We ate, we did a puzzle, we lolled around doing nothing. We went on a hike. We made rude jokes and swore a lot. We all pretended to have french accents. We swung by the nearest town to hit the liquor store.** You know... cottage stuff.

It was beautiful. It was peaceful. It was restful. During the day, anyway.

At night, it turned into a horror movie.

You may be aware that I'm a basket case. If there's something to be neurotic about, I am. And if I'm not, it's just because I haven't thought of it yet.

For example, did you know that Devil Lake was so named because people used to disappear in it? Just fall in and never be seen again. They couldn't find the bodies to bury. And there's a little island that's an old burial ground. People have tried to build on it, but each and every time, the structure has burned down***. These might have been things to mention to me on the way home.

The first night was the worst, of course. Once we were safely ensconced in our cozy cabin, the creatures came out. The little furry woodland variety had gone to sleep and the slavering beasties who might eat us made themselves known. Each time the crickets suddenly stopped chirping, I was sure I was going to die because that means axe murderer, right? I mean, I've watched movies, I know how this cabin-in-the-woods thing works. At least there weren't any wind-chimes.

The second night, we'd figured out that what had sounded like someone hitting the cabin with a baseball bat was actually just nuts falling on the roof. Phew. I even managed to take myself through the dark, over uneven ground, in peril of death by firefly (which, when you've never seen one, you're half asleep and pretty sure there are angry ghosts around, are pretty freaking creepy!) to the bathroom. Which, thank goodness, looked like this, because an outhouse might've done me in.

By the last night of our stay, I actually slept the entire night. I didn't even wake up when a bat flew into the screened window and scared the frick out of my bunk-mate. Which I do feel bad about, because she was totally with me for the first couple of nights when I'd sit bolt upright at any noise. I'm very lucky to have a kindergarten teacher for a friend... they're patient people, y'all.****

The big unexpected bonus from the trip was that by the time I got home, night noises meant nothing. I slept through two whole nights without waking once! I even forgot to be paranoid and barricade the door before bed, because really? If I can survive imaginary axe murderers, fireflies, falling nuts and marauding chipmunks, nothing in my own house is gonna get me, right?

Chipmunks are evil, dude.

*It hasn't come up in my blog yet, but you can add "fear of fish" to my list of neuroses. After being assured that any fish would swim away as soon as we got in the water, I was surprised to find that our fish were actually rather aggressive. They'd swim right up and try to take a bite; earning them the name "Nibble-fish".
**And bought enough to prompt an older woman walking by to yell "Woo hoo! I think I want to come to that party, ladies!"
***One loon singing at dusk on the lake? Beautiful. Twelve or so loons screaming at each other in the middle of the night? Obviously, angry spirits.
****I know, I'm not from the south and I really have no right to "y'all", but sometimes, it's just called for.

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