Month Four in the Woods – My, How things Have Changed (or Not)

My latest book to start reading is one by John Brockman titled, What Have You Changed Your Mind About, that is a collection of short articles by people, generally scientists and philosophers and the like, who have changed their minds about something. One premise is that it’s OK to change your mind. Thinking back to my thoughts about moving, there have been changes, both positive and negative.

Snakes. One of my biggest fears concerned the snakes, primarily related to the dogs. The particular snakes are the copperhead and the timber rattlesnake, the only venomous ones down here. “Only,” as if there were more at other places lived. No, these are the first. Not one has “crossed my path” yet. Studying them more, one learns that the rattlesnakes are not as much of a concern (they will flee) and that the copperheads are really more of a concern because they freeze, but less so because they are unlikely to deliver a fatal bite, even to a dog. So this topic is somewhat more positive than at first, but proceed with appropriate caution.

Spiders. The brown recluse spider is common. The black widow is fairly common. Neither have popped up yet. “They” say that people might be living with the brown recluse – and a number of them – in their houses and not know it. Maybe. This topic is more positive because they just aren’t making their presence known yet.

Walking the dogs. This has evolved. Living in town (which I don’t) was thought more favorable for dog walks. That is not necessarily true. The sidewalks many times don’t have an area between them and the streets and there just isn’t much grass. The Salt Creek Trail is nice and that’s accessible from downtown. The state park is great except for ticks. Every time we walk there, we usually have to deal with ticks. That just means we need to prepare well. The other park areas are more “rustic.” Nice for hiking, but sometimes with a machete or wadding boots. The streets around the cabin – narrow as they are – turn out to be the best places to walk the dogs. Traffic is relatively light and you stay alert (no earphones listening to music…). On the biggest traffic day, six vehicles passed us. So, the original places thought great are more negative and the ones thought poor are more positive. All is well.

Music. Very quickly it was apparent that there were more music options around here than GH. You can fine free music in little Nashville at least six nights a week and sometimes seven. And there’s a lot more within, say, 90 minutes, much within 30. So this topic is more positive just because of options that became known.

Internet. The dogs and I are not quite off the grid, but there’s no television and no internet because there’s no cable out here and there are no line-of-sights for satellites. Verizon does so-so – it was better until late summer when they seem to have weaker signals. This topic is more negative than expected, but has not evolved into a complaint. Rumor has it that fiber optic cable is coming.

Writing. There are a lot more letters going out of here than expected, but not yet in September. Maybe the “no TV” has an impact of a positive nature… Beyond letters, the blog gets some attention, but I doubt many or even several read it. Then there are the life chapters I am writing to my daughters – these have been somewhat fun. I have no feedback… The Touchnotes (where you send pics on the phone as postcards) gets some use. Beyond these, the thoughts of writing a novel or short story or series of poems have not made much headway. Based on the letters alone, this subject seems more positive.

Purpose. The grandchild was one reason – the biggest of several – to move back closer to Indianapolis and Samuel Allen Edwards arrive August 27 at 10:38 PM. He finally was able to go home (having arrived 5-6 weeks early) on September 6. This topic may get more press next month IF I continue the monthly update from the woods.

Maybe there are a few other subjects to touch on. My walking step count is down from GH, but picked up a lot in August – maybe better knowing the “turf” helped. The garage project is slower than originally expected, but now underway. Meeting people is generally up – most are musicians – and there are reconnections with Indianapolis friends, slowly. Yes, Nashville is close, but one doesn’t head up there every day. With no real interest in “dating,” the pursuit is for friendship. Most seem to understand that. With the cabin, one learns how to use space well. Some of that changes once the garage gets here (the chop saw can move from behind the chair in the living room and the tool chest from behind another chair…).

And there’s history. There is a second Nashville, IN – it’s in Brown Township in Hancock County and was established in 1834. It’s more or less a bump in the road (Nashville Road) southeast of Pendleton. The Nashville near me, in Brown County (Washington Township), wasn’t established until 1836 and was originally called Jacksonburg. The name was changed to Nashville in 1837 when a post office was opened. The Hancock County one must never had had a PO. My Nashville had a population of 804 in 2010.

So, yes, there are changes up and down. I don’t like spiders and snakes – and loving me is limited, please, to friendship for now… That’s touching on many of the subjects all at once – including music…