So, here's the deal. I've rolled with the punches of this move pretty well. Other than the pouting about missing my friends and family.
But I've rallied.
I totally bought face moisturizer with a SPF of 30 instead of 15.
I've enjoyed time and time again how very different the space within our own country can be, in terms of basic culture and sites.
I've loved driving along and seeing cows roaming in the pasture next to a shopping strip.
I've defended the boiling summer to everyone by saying it will be a small price to pay considering the rest of the year we will be sitting pretty.
But yesterday I hit a wall. It involved poop, a playground, and the terrifying knowledge that The Internets can bring us with just a few taps of our fingers.
I met at a local park for a play date and was enjoying my conversation with another adult, when suddenly her daughter came up to us pointing at her foot and crying. We thought she hurt herself, but no she was upset because she had stepped in some animal "droppings".
I will try to keep this less gross, by just saying, it was obviously not a domestic animal nor was it a human's. Thank God for that I guess. But the mom said, "I bet it's a bobcat.".
*sound of a record scratching*
Um.....a who now?
Turns out, we have bobcats in this area. You may be picturing me living out in an area with sprawling acreage for every home, and although the city we live in certainly does have a lot of wooded areas and nature, it is very much a city. In fact, when this scene took place we were right outside a school and also within a subdivision.
You see, this area's population has absolutely exploded in the last several years, which also means that the natural habitat rapidly lost the spaces that used to be theirs.
Later that day we had walk through of our new home with our Realtor and builder.
I gazed out the window of our new home at the walking path surrounding our subdivision. The path lies next to a wooded area, and I thought about how last time I looked at the path, I pictured walking in the mornings and riding bikes amongst the natural quiet that comes with a tree lined space.
Now I saw it as an opportunity to go on one of those jungle safari's, just on foot and with no one to help you when faced with an animal that would like to make out with your head using it's teeth.
"Tell me about bobcats", I whispered to my Realtor.
I saw her contemplate how much she should share with me. A little part of my soul died during that silence.
She and the builder went on to assure me that while there are bobcats in the area, they will surely do me no harm. They did tell me to keep an eye on outside cats and small dogs. I'm also not to feed birds or squirrels in my yard lest I create a feeding frenzy in my own backyard. I sat in silence contemplating this, feeling my husband's dread over the fact that I had this to obsess over. I thought of the wiener dog my daughter would so love to have. It would actually be a hot dog for some bobcat.
Then the conversation took an ugly turn. I came out of my reverie to this:
Builder: My advice is to not worry, just watch where you step. Because there are snakes, and some are poisonous. However they won't bite you unless you step on them.
UNLESS I STEP ON THEM?
He assured me that I could wear something called snake waders if I wanted. I think he was making fun of me. A joke was made about this being why Texan's carried guns. My mind reeled and suddenly spiders came to mind.
"Tarantulas!" I screamed. "What about tarantulas??".
Builder: You don't need to worry about tarantulas.
Builder: You've seen tarantulas?
Builder: See, I thought the only thing to worry about was black widows. If you go to reach for something in your garage or off a shelf, you need to just make sure there's no black widow there because that is how people get bit.
Husband: Yeah, a guy at work reached onto a shelf that is rarely used in the factory and he was bit by a black widow. We had to get him to the hospital.
Dying. I'm dying. Tarantulas. Bobcats. Snakes.
I went home and immediately consulted The Google Machine. I entered my city's name and the word 'bobcats'. Several past community warnings came up....along with these photos of an area a few blocks from our current location.
Please enjoy the following photos while clinging to your loved ones:
In case you are not absorbing my reality, these special fellars are climbing around on fences in a local subdivision. You know, around the backyards that our children frolic in.
So, if you come to Texas you'll probably hear about the girl from Wisconsin who walks around the subdivision paths wearing snake waders, carrying a gun, and looks insane as her eyes dart between the ground before her, avoiding snakes, to the woods around her....waiting to be pounced on.
Sounds relaxing doesn't it?