Then, there's the mud.
Like I mentioned, the cabin we've moved into wasn't inhabited for a quite a few years. Runoff from the rain runs right past our little house, and our driveway, which then becomes some serious mud. Past tenants have filled the driveway, there's evidence of a few types of rocks and gravel, concrete and pottery pieces, but without maintenance and regular refills, all the bits and pieces that were put there to increase traction simply washed away.
So, we moved in. Immediately, it rained. The driveway became a huge bog, and we got stuck more than once. This would have been merely frustrating and annoying, but for the hill we live on. The incline makes mud absolutely terrifying, and more than a little dangerous.
The rain runoff path? Well, it's carved a little ravine just to the side of our driveway. When we got stuck in the mud the first time and were spinning our wheels to get out, we started not-so-subtly sliding towards the ravine.
Let me interrupt with a little background in the inner workings of steph. When I was very young, I had a memory of hiking some huge rocks with my parents. We were edging along on a narrow cliff, when I slipped. I started to slide down the rock and my parents grabbed my hands. I was so scared, I couldn't find purchase for my feet. My parents' hands were losing their hold, and I was sliding down the rock face. And then... nothing. When I asked my mom about this memory, starting it off with, "Remember when...?", I was wondering what happened next. She looked at me like she wasn't sure if I was normal and called it a dream. I was no more than seven, but I'd seen Shirley MacLaine on TV, and decided it was my past life.
Now, I don't know that I believe in past lives nowadays, I don't believe in much besides what's in front of me, but I also don't know that that memory was a dream. My very-young self was certain: It Happened.
Regardless of the source of the memory, I can trace that "experience" as the source of my horrible fear of sliding. I'm also not a fan of heights and falling, but sliding is a special kind of terror, for me. (Also, spiders.)
So, that day, sliding in the mud (thankfully, sans spiders), I was in the passenger seat with the dog buckled onto my lap and I was holding onto her for dear life and trying not to scream, because that's certainly not going to help my boyfriend get us out any sooner. I put my hands over my face and felt my panic coming out of every pore. Sliding, sliding, spinning wheels and sliding. Finally, we found purchase and made it out, back to the relative safety of the cracked and pitted asphalt road. But I refused to sit in the car on the driveway for a week, until I'd witnessed several slide-free arrivals and departures.
And unfortunately, with the trees blocking out the sun, it takes a long time for a good mud bog to dry out. It's been two weeks since the rain, and I still have to watch where I walk. We need to get some fill here, pronto.
But, speaking of being stuck, lately I'm feeling absolutely UNstuck. School is making me feel like a real person again, one who can accomplish things and finish assignments on time, one who has interesting thoughts and observations and can share them with a class without feeling (too) afraid of being misread or saying something dumb.
And then, our first trip to the laundromat in years didn't kill me. I guess I have to rejoin society now.
My house is still a work in progress. Most of the boxes are gone, but it's still rather... undone. Most of our furniture is still awaiting a truck, so we've got clothes and electronics and bathroom stuff all co-mingling on some unfinished, swedish-made shelves that have made it through five moves with us. They come in handy, but they aren't terribly pretty. However, I'm practicing my patience, because I know we'll eventually get there, one step at a time.
My head still seems to dislike me, the sun, noise, and smells (no miraculous recovery upon leaving the city, the boyfriend is disappointed). But I'm happier here, despite the natural disasters that seem determined to take me down. (I forgot to mention the earthquakes last week. Those are scarier in a house on stilts.)
The best part of having moved out of the city is that it's monumentally easier to be active, without the constant triggers. I've been taking regular walks up our very steep hill, and some little jaunts into the woods to explore. My legs and butt ache from the exercise, and it's fantastic.