the incurable dreamer

writing my way from misery bliss, one ridiculous story at a time

not so stupid after all

On Sunday, I began a pet-sitting gig.  I know, I know! But, before you start sending me ‘WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?’ messages, please know I have already been adequately lectured and understand the poor judgment I exercised when making this decision a couple of months ago.  When I found out the date of my surgery, I canceled all my pet sit jobs, for obvious reasons, but this one I kept, because my only requirement was to take care of two delightful, low maintenance cats, and this place, in all honesty, is a little slice of heaven. It is nestled in the forest and is very tranquil, and I felt it was a perfect place to spend some time during my recovery.  Luckily, the world has mostly stopped spinning, and my antibiotics have worked well enough to allow me to keep up my end of the bargain.  In hindsight, and based on the pure shit luck I possess, I should have known better than agree to be somewhere so soon after surgery – sometimes, though, I simply forget who I am.  I would have looked like a real jack if I had to cancel just days before their vacation, but thankfully, here I am.

When I arrived on Sunday, I immediately put on my pajama’s, took off my bra and settled on the couch and began watching a movie. A short time later there was a knock at the door.  I was too preoccupied with the fact that my boobs were hanging down to my knees to be worried about the reality that I was alone in the woods with an assailant possibly knocking at the door.

A twenty-something kid was standing at the door and introduced himself as the landlord’s son. They have a workshop on the property, and he was there doing some work.  He wanted to let me know that if I need anything while staying here, he is just a phone call away.  He was super sweet, and as I was standing there talking to him, I thought, what an outstanding young man. But then our conversation took a bit of an unexpected turn.

Him: “I always lock the gate at the bottom of the driveway when I am here and when I leave – some weird people live around here.  You just don’t know what they will do so I keep the gate locked to make it harder for them to come up here.”

Me: “Oh. Well, umm. Really?”

Him: “Yeah, when I am up here by myself I get really freaked out and leave. I don’t like being here alone.”

Me to myself: “WHAT THE SHIT? Dude, I am here ALL ALONE.”

Me: “I have the key to the gate, so I will make sure I keep it closed and locked.”

Me to myself: “I. AM. GOING. TO. DIE. Cue the motherfucking banjos!”

Him: “It was really nice meeting you, call me if you need anything.”

Me to myself: “How am I supposed to do that? I WILL BE SUPER DEAD!”

Me: “Okay, thanks! Nice meeting you too.”

After our exchange, I was so exhausted I just didn’t have the energy to stress about my imminent demise.  When I looked outside, all I could see were unicorns and rainbows, so I pushed thoughts of ax-wielding murderers to the back of my mind.  The only other choice I had was to burn rubber the hell out of there, and that just wasn’t a viable option.  It also helped that it was still daylight.  A couple of hours later, guided by the light of the evening sun, I crawled into bed and went to sleep.

The next morning, as I drank my coffee, I watched this little beauty wake from her sleep and do two big stretches.  If you have never seen a deer have a morning stretch, you need to, like as soon as possible.

The rest of my day consisted of laying in the sun, writing, resting and striving to heal my ailing body.  I was completely at peace.

After dinner, I caught sight of the fire pit outside and thought about how fabulous it would be to chill out by the fire.  But, the pit is near the edge of the forest, and the thought of sitting out there by myself kind of scared me.  The vision of the fire, though, kept playing in my mind and I desperately wanted to have one.  Finally, I thought, ‘Fuck it,’ grabbed J.K. Rowling, my friends Ben and Jerry and headed out.  And, ten minutes later I was in my happiest of places.

The air was calm, and the smell of the forest and fire combined was like inhaling pure ecstasy, and my heart was singing.

I really reeked like a campfire at this point – it was amazing!

The sun was beginning to fade, but the last bits of colour were projecting vibrantly off the clouds.  It was magic.

Sitting there by the fire, as the sun went down, was someone who felt like the luckiest person on earth.

But then.

Suddenly every sound from every direction began turning my head.  Then I started freaking myself out because of some guy named Arturo.  YOU DO NOT WANT TO THINK OF THIS MAN WHEN YOU ARE SITTING OUTSIDE ALONE.

My friend, Paul (https://twovoicesinonetransmission.com), who writes a very thought-provoking and funny blog, is currently writing a Coen-brothers-esque book about a murderer who isn’t human so you can’t kill him, but he can mercilessly kill the shit out of you – and this hellfire heathen kills a whole lot.  ‘Where are you, Arturo?’ I asked as I scanned the shadows of the forest.  My head then shot towards the driveway when I remembered what I had been told about the so-called neighbourhood weirdos who were most likely closing in on me with pitchforks and a will to kill.

I then promptly shit myself, gathered my things and retreated as quickly as I could back into the house.  Don’t worry; I put out the fire (safety first people) even though I was risking my life by doing so.  Once inside I closed every blind and curtain and even peeked outside to make sure I hadn’t been surrounded.  My imagination had gone wild, and it took a solid ten minutes for me to come back from Terror Town.

Once I finally calmed the hell down, I started laughing.  I mean the absurdity of the conversation I had had the previous day coupled with me running for my life from something that may or may not have been in the forest or coming up the driveway was comical, and I felt like an absolute knob.  Nothing had changed, I was in the very same place.  The deer were sleeping close by and the colours of the day were still there, but merely hidden.  Above me were the stars, offering a different kind of beauty than that of the sun, and if I had just taken a moment to look up, I would have noticed.  Instead, I ran back in the house like a terrorized spazz.

Anyway, when I crawled into bed last night, my fear was once again gone, and I felt as though I was one step closer to healing – all because of a decision I had made months before.  That decision brought me as close to nature as I have been in years, and it was the medicine my body and soul needed.

This bad decision might just be one of the best one’s I have ever made.

Maybe not so stupid after all.

PS…I am sure the neighbours are incredibly lovely people…right?

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45 Comments

  1. 1st I want to live there despite the weirdos living next door, 2nd your conversation and freak out had me laughing so hard I may have tinkled a little (mostly because I would also be convincing myself that there were killers coming to off me in the woods), 3rd I love that you are feeling well enough to get out and experience something like this! Yay, for healing. Hopefully some more great adventures and peaceful experiences are just around the corner.

    • the incurable dreamer

      It is so beautiful here, Sarah, you would love it so much – despite the weirdos. Ha! I still can’t believe that kid said all that to me knowing I was staying here by myself, sooo funny. But, weird always has a way of finding me. And thanks so much for all of your encouragement and well wishes, it means a lot. It sure feels so good to finally be upright and engaged in life once again, especially last night. The last few weeks have been difficult, but I think I am finally on the right track. And as always, there will surely be more crazy stories to come! xo

      • I have a particular set of weird. Weird that I have acquired over a long career. Weird that makes me a nightmare for people like you. I WILL find you. And I will scare you. (ripped off from the movie “Taken” of course)

  2. Kim

    A hilarious post! I was right there with you being terrified! My husband and I are house/pet sitting this year and you definitely come across a variety of people, animals and situations. Good to hear you’re recovering nicely after surgery. Look forward to more ‘weird’ stuff. 😄👍

    • the incurable dreamer

      Thanks so much, Kim! Good for you guys for taking on the house/pet sitting challenge as well. There is never a dull moment, that’s for sure. Good luck with it all. I know for me there will definitely be more weird to come! 😂 Thanks again!

  3. Oh Tanya I’m still grinning from ear to ear. I can just picture it all, you painted such a vivid picture. I probably would have reacted the same as you, I have a pretty overactive imagination . Well it sounds as though, despite the warnings, you had a thoroughly relaxing retreat with nothing but harmless cute deer for company. What a delightful post. Thanks for a fun and entertaining read. 🙂

    • the incurable dreamer

      Miriam, I am so glad you enjoyed my post and that you can totally relate to what I was feeling! Suppose our imaginations are what keep this life so interesting – mine certainly is never dull! Helps that some really weird things tend to happen to me as well! Haha. This place though is incredibly beautiful, and I feel so blessed to be here. Thank you so much for the wonderful comment and for enjoying my story! xo

  4. Fantastic! Loved every second of this blog – after initially reeling with anger that you had gone ahead with a pet sitting gig straight after surgery – but then I read and read and I totally agree… good decision x

    • the incurable dreamer

      Hahaha – thanks for not being too mad at me! And thanks, Becci, I am so glad you loved it! Sometimes I make some pretty good decisions! xoxo

  5. Wow, Tanya. This was gut-bustingly funny, achingly beautiful, and of course, humbly flattering all at the same time. I’d apologize for inserting Arturo into your calmness if I wasn’t of the opinion that a little bit of fear is the right thing to feel in the midst of the overwhelming beauty and mystery of nature. It’s bigger than all of us, though we are of it, and it demands respect as it enchants us. I am in awe of your courage. The courage to face a responsibility head-on so soon after such a physically and emotionally taxing experience; the courage to continue looking out into the darkness to find the beauty therein; and most of all, the courage to write about it so honestly. You pull no punches, with your readers or with yourself. I will use the image of a deer having a morning stretch as an object of meditation. Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful revelations and unfiltered emotion. It’ll stick with me for the rest of my life.

    • the incurable dreamer

      Paul, this comment will stick with me for the rest of my life. I am almost at a loss for words. Your unbelievably kind and very treasured compliment serves as validation that the words and stories I write do, in fact, make a difference. And that means everything to me. So thank you, so very, very much. Your understanding of fear and how vital it is to our lives is so profoundly brilliant and adds further to the respect I have for you and your vision. Of course, I had never looked at it that way before, but as always, you have the ability to make me see things in a whole new light. Your support encourages me to keep writing, and I appreciate that more than you know. Thank you, thank you! And thanks for Arturo – he scares the shit out of me, but I totally love that he does!

    • Dude, you get the Best Comment Award. I love what you say about Fear. Which deserves to be capitalized for a number of reasons.

  6. That read like a fairy tale! What a masterful piece of writing. I enjoyed it very much!

    I love REEKED LIKE A CAMPFIRE scent. They should bottle that and sell it.

    • the incurable dreamer

      When I wrote that part, I thought the same thing!!! It totally should get bottled up to sell. To me, it is one of the best smells in the entire world, and would proudly reek like that anytime!

      And what a huge compliment, thank you so, so much for saying that. Wow! I am thrilled you enjoyed it so much. Honestly, my life is so damn weird; it makes it super fun to write about! Thank you again, Lee!

  7. Arturo here. Just wanted to let you know I’m watching. Haha, hahaha, hahahaha!

  8. Di

    Hello Tanya,
    This is so entertaining and such enjoyable reading.
    I’m happy to know you kept with your decision to house sit. You’ve gotta live somewhere, don’t you! And you must have known something and listened to your intuition to stick with this one there.
    What beautiful surroundings, and I love the photo of you.
    As for watching the little deer wake up, I’d love to… what a treat for you.

    Such a beautiful ending and I hope you continue to feel the healing power of nature as you recover between her embrace.
    Hugs to you lovely lady,
    Di 🙋🏻💕

    • the incurable dreamer

      Hello, Di! As you can tell, I am so happy I kept with my decision to stay here, it has been an incredible few days, and I feel blessed beyond words. As the saying goes, some things just happen for a reason. Oh, and I so hope you find a morning deer to watch wake up. Animals are one of my biggest passions, so to be able to see that little deer welcome the morning with a couple of stretches touched my soul very deeply. I am very lucky!
      I am so happy you enjoyed my story! Besides the beautiful moments, weird moments are also a common occurrence in my life, so I never seem to run out of material. HA! Thank you so much, Di. Hugs back to you!
      PS…I am rooting for you to one day see a deer the way I did!

      • Di

        Hello again Tanya,
        Such a lovely response. Thank you, and yes, I’d hope to see a deer wake up too. They are probably my favourite animal.
        Keep being inspired… and bringing your charm through humour, words, kindness and life learnings for us all to enjoy…💕

  9. Well, if you can’t get the rainbow without enduring the storm, I guess it makes sense that you can’t have the imagination and creativity to string together such beautiful words without also dreaming up the dark alleys of ‘Terror Town’ lol.
    Seriously though, sometimes I question why I write (it’s not like I’m looking to make an income from it) and then I remember it’s a beacon of sorts to draw in other creative souls like yourself, in order to reassure myself that there are all sorts of wonderful people out there just waiting to be discovered. I’m so glad I found you <3

    • the incurable dreamer

      Your comment has brought a smile to my face, one that I will be hard pressed to lose for the rest of the day. Thank you, for all of this. Like you, I write to not make money but to feed my soul and keep my mind from going crazy. Words have saved me from the darkest moments in my life. When I began this blog, it was to learn to be vulnerable with honesty and to become a better writer. I had no clue the people I would discover on the other end of my words. It’s connections, like the one I have with you, that has been the biggest reward of this whole endeavor, and I feel so blessed I also found you. Each word I read from another writer, changes me and provides a perspective I didn’t even know I needed. And that is pretty damn cool! Thank you for following along on my wacky adventures and for continually inspiring and supporting me!

    • I like this comment. That’s all I have to say about that.

  10. Phew…a rollercoaster of emotions on your pet-sitting days!!😀 I’m glad you were strong enough (just about!) to go to the woods and I believe strongly in the recuperative and restorative effects of nature. I’m glad it helped in the end…you had me worried a couple of times! Your humour has me laughing and glad you made it out to enjoy the fire! Keep getting stronger, Tanya! (And keep safe!!) 😀❤️

    • the incurable dreamer

      You are so right, Annika, nature has been my medicine this week, not only for my body but my mind as well – I have gained so much physical and emotional strength since being here. This place really is heaven! Except maybe for that one time, when I thought I was going to die! hahaha. Life would be so boring if we didn’t laugh at ourselves, and since weird has a way of finding me, I feel blessed to be able to see the humour in it all. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement, it means a whole lot! Hope you are having a fantastic day!

  11. I feel like I just read the script for the next Deliverance movie. I was waiting for hear the fawn say: “you sure got a purty mouth,” or for Arturo to make a guest appearance…

    In all seriousness though, I’ve been thinking about you (in a not creepy way I promise) and hoping that your recovery from post-op complications was moving along well. and that photo of you next to the fire says so much. Looks like you’re in a great place. Enjoy the campfire smell, or as i call it, hiker cologne.

    • the incurable dreamer

      HAHA! Arturo scares the bejeezus out of me, but the characters from Deliverance are a close second!

      And Gabe, thanks so much for thinking of me (in a non-creepy way of course)! Ha! This recovery has been slightly more complicated than I had anticipated, but the support I have received from people like you has helped me immensely. So thank you for being a part of this whacky journey of mine. I feel like I am gaining my strength back and that the fog that has been in my head for over a year is finally lifting. That fire was everything, and it helped heal me just a little more. Hiker cologne – I LOVE THAT! Best smell in the world!

      • you know it. If we could figure out a way to bottle it, we could market it to the masses. I have no idea what a popular cologne/perfume is (maybe Brut or Axe) but we would totally put them out of business.

        • the incurable dreamer

          Okay, but keep in mind that if we go after Axe, our consumers are going to purchase our product with the expectation that wearing it is going to get them laid. Sooo, we really need to think about our marketing with this one.

  12. u can delete this but I’ve just gotta say… Fucking YAY! my comments are getting through 😉

    • the incurable dreamer

      WOOT!!! hahaha. No one gets left behind on my watch, Gabe!!

  13. Kevin

    Tanya. Great post. If you would like to lessen the fear of being alone (or attacked) in such an environment, while at the same time strengthening your confidence, let me to teach you some self defence. Just ask. While your mightiest weapons may be your quick wit, your humour, and your kindness….unfortunately they are unlikely to do as much damage as an eye gouge, or a swift kick to the “apple basket” 🙂

    • the incurable dreamer

      HAHAHA! Kevin, you made me laugh out loud when I read your comment. Trust me when I say I will always remember your advice if I have to channel some self-defence skills. And thank you so much for the encouraging and supportive comment. It means a lot to receive a compliment like this from you and also makes me feel like I am doing something right. Thank you, thank you! 🙂

  14. Ya lived to tell about it! Hope you’ve been healing well.

    • the incurable dreamer

      Thanks, Diana, I not only lived to tell the tale but am starting to feel better as well! 🙂

  15. “How am I supposed to do that? I WILL BE SUPER DEAD!”

    Laughed.So.Hard

    • the incurable dreamer

      HAHA! Glad my paranoia gave you a chuckle. Seriously, what the hell was wrong with that kid??

      I just read your latest post on your blog, and you almost made me choke on my slobber because I was laughing so hard when my jaw hit the floor. You tell it like it is, and I am super down with that. SO AMAZING…and I totally love it!

  16. I am so envious in the most pleasant way of your fire and your peace and your Harry Potter PLUS Ben & Jerry. You were in good company. And I am totally applauding because of your honesty re: not being able to concentrate with boobs to knees:). A neighbor brought over chocolate cake the other night and I was in the same predicament–trying to grab a plate while keeping arms crossed across chest .. .

    • the incurable dreamer

      Let me tell you; I know how to rock a fire and who to take with me to enjoy it. Ben and Jerry used to be good friends of mine and lately we have been getting reacquainted. Ha! There is nothing that compares to sitting around a campfire and in all honesty, I would do it every day if I could. And that is hilarious that you can relate to the boob thing. All I kept thinking is, please don’t try and shake my hand or things are going to get real awkward! Your neighbour sounds lovely, by the way!

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