Paul fell in love with our house on the internet. (Hmmm...sounds like a good way to start a romance.) The craigslist picture he sent me showed a one story log cabin with a huge deck and a good-sized yard, surrounded by trees. Picturesque! He obtained the address from the realtor and headed to Southworth after work to check it out. I remember sitting at my mom's house in Oak Harbor, so nervous because, well, we were homeless. Was this the house? Our house?
It was. He called from the house, nearly beside himself. It was perfect, he said. But funny story...
As he turned up the tree-canopied driveway, he saw a small cabin set to the right of the road. "That's it?" he thought. "They want $895 a month for THAT?" He was disappointed, but he was there, so he might as well get out and at least look in the windows. The cabin was ancient. Through grime-caked windows he could just make out the two small antique-filled rooms that boasted the bulk of the house. He was careful as he stepped, careful to not fall through the rotting boards of the dilapidated wrap-around porch. On the side of the cabin he found the kitchen. Stove, sink, freezer and refrigerator sat comfortably on the deck, exposed to the elements and waiting to be used.
Paul had found what was soon to be dubbed 'Old Man Withers' House.' It sits between our house and the road, and now that the leaves have fallen from the trees, we can see its dark bulk huddled in the woods, moonlight flashing from its windows. The creepy romance of the cabin was not lost on the Abundi, and within days Paul and Lauren had Nicholas perfectly terrified of Old Man Withers' house. I guess it's good, because now I can trust that he won't venture too far into the woods by himself.
The point of this lengthy set up is as follows:
This morning at 6:30 (ok, 6:40...I was late), I started down our long, muddy, downward-sloping driveway dragging the garbage and recycling cans behind me. I was irritated with myself for not having set the cans out the night before, irritated that the driveway is so long, and frankly, irritated that I'M always the one to take care of the garbage. But soon my irritation gave way to a sense of unease. I couldn't see; the sky had begun to lighten, but the dense trees sucked up any light that might have reached my eyes. I couldn't hear; the two cans creaked and banged behind me on their plastic wheels, creating enough racket to wake the neighborhood and removing my ability to listen to what was going on in the woods around me. And I was approaching Old Man Withers' house. The pre-dawn sky reflected in the front windows, but the porch was a black hole and the trees seemed to crouch down around the cabin with ominous force. I walked quicker, almost losing control of the cans on the steep hill.
I was thoroughly creeped out. It was all I could do to not RUN up the hill. I reminded myself that I'm a grown woman with common sense and dignity. The bogie man would not jump off of Old Man Withers' porch to eat me for breakfast, and all the bears should be hibernating by now. It was with great relief that I finally reached the pool of light eminating from the house's flood lights. As I climbed into my car and raced down the hill, my heart pounded in my chest and I could feel perspiration on my forehead. I am ridiculous.
Long story short, Paul is taking out the garbage next week.