The other day, someone was giving me directions. They are as follows:
"You know XXXX?"*
"Alright. You know that dead moose on the side of the road just past XXXX? Well, you just go straight south from that dead moose and we'll be the second house on the right."
*The name of the place has been withheld because I don't want to get punched in the nose.
People in the country use roadkill as landmarks. Yes, they do. What's even weirder though, is that I knew exactly which dead moose was being mentioned. (Yes, there are often more than one.) Just when I think that I have adjusted to life in the sticks, something like this happens and I am forced to realize that I "don't know nothin yet." Everyday is a learning experience. Yesterday, I went looking for our missing cat. I must have walked for a half an hour around our property. At one point, after I had crawled down from a broken down swather, or combine, (It was hard to tell because hey... what do I know), I realized that in the city it would have taken me all of two minutes to look around the property, and I wouldn't have had to look in an assorted mass of old vehicles, shacks, barns, workshops, or small forests. I almost needed to have a search party come looking for me. I never found the cat, but I discovered an interesting odor in the middle of the woods out back... something had sprayed its musk out there and the smell was strong.
I miss the conveniences of the city, but the trade offs are worth not having them. At night, the sky is hard to see for all of the stars in the way. Some of the spots that I have visited and some of the sights that I have seen make up for the cityscape that I have left behind. That doesn't mean that I don't ever want to drink water from the tap again, or have consistent Internet connections, but there are things that can only be found out here, and to be honest, I find it pleasantly weird that someone could use a moose carcass as a road marker and I would actually know where to find it.
Now, to change things up a bit.
I have a wall of death. No, it's not what you think... yeah, I'm talking to you. As has been previously mentioned, many of my students love to hunt, and they often miss classes to do it. I was unhappy about this at first, but I was taken to task for my attitude. I thought about it for awhile and an idea occurred to me. I decided to recognize the hunters in my class by having them bring me pictures of their hunting successes. I post the pictures on the wall and the kids feel good about seeing their 'accomplishments'. So far, this has actually worked really well. Most of the kids don't miss class anymore, because they want to bring in pictures to put up on the wall. Eventually, the pics will take up all the room on my wall and I will have to expand it somewhat. None of the pics are gory or inappropriate, in fact, they are all rather tasteful. I don't mind it when I get some elk jerky either, but I won't be pinning that up on the wall...