Wednesday, March 14, 2012

LOST IN MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD

Can that really happen?? Well I guess I proved it. The other day after reading about a new animal shelter opening up in my neighborhood, I got curious and thought I'd go for a ride to see what it was like.

The new shelter was started by a splinter group that broke away from the Humane Society. No one seems to know the details. The thing I really liked about them was that they put long adds in the “Pets” column in the newspaper. They describe the various dogs in such glowing terms, even I was temped and I have no room for another pet except in a fish bowl.

I have some food that Mighty can no longer eat and some pet supplies that I thought perhaps they could use. So I loaded up Mighty and we went a few hundred feet down the highway to the road the shelter was supposedly on. I could have gotten the address off the computer but I thought “what the hey”, it should be easy to recognize and surely there will be a sign. Besides, this was my "country" neighborhood.

I think I mentioned before that Mighty has a horror of dirt roads. He had been abandoned in Florida on a dirt road. Even after 13 years with me, he still thinks a dirt road spells his doom. As he started his incessant, pitiful moaning and whining, I was doubting my judgment in bringing him.

He crawled into my lap and I did my best to sooth the little guy, both of us knowing it was useless. Still I thought I would just find where this place is then take him back home. In the mean time, maybe the exposure with nothing bad happening to him would help him get over his fear. We really need to work on this.

I had been down this road when I first moved here and was exploring. I remembered being surprised then to see such nice homes so far in the country. Still, I had never followed it till it ended. I drove slowly, examining each house as a possible rescue operation. No dog pens visable, no signs.

So on we traveled, bumping through lovely country to the tune of Mighty's moans. Eventually the homes really thinned out till they disappeared altogether and I might as well have been in the Ozark National Forest. Just trees and a narrowing road.

The road had slimmed down to about a car and a half width. I kept traveling hoping to find a spot to turn around. The road was too narrow to turn around. There was a bank on one side and a steep drop off on the other side. I sure didn't want to back up for several miles. I have too old a neck for that.


Often when I have been exploring Arkansas, I found dirt roads sometimes end in the parking lot of a church. Hoping that would be the case so I could turn around in a church yard, we forged on. Soon we were so isolated I was pretty sure I heard the dueling banjos of “Deliverance in the distance.




 Ok, I do have an active imagination.

I always pack a winter emergency kit with food, water and a sleeping bag and it was still in the back since Winter wasn't technically over yet. At least I knew we wouldn't starve--- right away. I did make a mental note to add some food for Mighty in a future kit for he is usually with me. He is gluten intolerant so he needs special food. Note taken.

Obviously since I am writing this, we made it out. That road wound around for many miles and about 20 minutes later it finally dumped me out on the very road I live. By then, the dirt road had shrunk to one car width. As soon as we hit the pavement, Mighty ceased his whining, crawled back to his side and went to sleep, exhausted. I had a lap full of drool and frazzled nerves.

Did I ever find the shelter? No, but next time, I will have an address and no dog.

Do you ever get going down a path in life, feel it may be wrong but continue on regardless, not wanting to consider the time all ready invested as a waste? Do you continue watching a bad movie or slug through a bad book to the bitter end??

I have learned to walk out on a movie and to delete a bad book quickly from my Kindle. Now it seems I need to work on when to give up on a strange road going no where. Life is a learning process that never ends.

44 comments :

  1. Poor Mighty! And I am sure your nerves were a little raw being lost and also hearing the moaning and whining...Arkansas back roads are always an adventure, but the ones that narrow into one laners always scare me. I have a big fear of ending up stuck in a ditch.

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  2. Sure glad you made it out and home safely! Poor Mighty!

    I am one of those people who slug it through a book or movie, but I am slowly learning to ditch that poor habit! Life? Oh well. ;-)

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  3. Poor Mighty! He is still traumatized, I guess, from that long ago event. And I will usually try to finish a book, eventually, that I paid for. Unless it's really bad, that is.

    I just noticed that the other two commenters also commiserated about Mighty. I guess I should also add, Poor Patti! You were traumatized, too, but I'm glad you made it back home in one piece, even if a little on the damp side.

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  4. Poor Mighty...happy to hear you are safe and sound.
    Have you tried another search yet?
    Just out of curiosity how did you figure out that Mighty is gluten intolerant?

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  5. Abandoning a book, movie or television program that doesn't capture my interest is now my habit. Not so in earlier years. Both hubby and i have not quite totally abandoned our itch to see what is at the end of an unfamiliar road. But we are close. We do occasionally turn around before the end nowadays, especially if road is in poor condition and weather is not perfect.

    I suppose I should be following the same strategy with bad habits but alas, those roads are all well-worn with few turnarounds. I guess like you learned on your Arkansas rambles, they will also probably end at a church or maybe funeral home chapel (groan).

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  6. Oddly enough, Deliverance was the first movie I walked out on.
    I like the philosophical/introspective bent this story took down that metaphorical road.

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  7. Mrs and I did this in upstate Maine on one of our trips. We were northwest of Moosehead Lake and turned off of the main road onto some of the logging roads. these roads, generally, are not mapped. I had the GPS on and sure enough, no roads marked. Just our little "breadcrumb" behind the little dot that was our current position. The nice thing about the "breadcrumbs" is that if needed one could turn around and follow them out. I recall getting very anxious at one point - there are no fueling stations for many miles in either direction - and my truck at the time got 10 miles to the gallon on a good day. Despite the obvious logging operations, we never ran in to anyone. It was refreshing, but a tad frightening. Glad you made it out ok and will be interested to see what you eventually find at the shelter.

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  8. Dear Patti and Mighty,
    Oh, you both must have been so tired. So exhausted from your trek down that twenty miles that circled round to where you'd started. Isn't that like life though? We do often come back to where it all began.

    You asked about quitting a book or leaving a movie. I will do both. But sometimes,I've let myself stay too long in bad situations. Ultimately,however, I've always left and saved myself. My survivor instinct is strong.

    Peace.

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  9. It's probably an age thing but I don't waste my time on books I don't like or even movies if they hit me wrong ... life gets shorter and shorter the older I get.
    Glad you made it out OK.

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  10. Poor Mighty!!! What a memory he has.

    I have more books than time, so if one does not grab my attention in the first few chapters, I toss it aside for another.

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  11. So funny. This was the second time today I read the word "deliverence." The first was in Kathleen Parker's opinion piece in the Washington Post today. She wrote about 'Getting Lost Down South.' Her piece was about the primary election and poor Mitt Romney, however.

    PS. I know the title of this piece of music is "Dueling Banjos" but the guy in the brown jacket is playing a Guitar. Dianne

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  12. I don't mean to sound callous, but I was not worried you got out alive as you wrote the column unless you are texting from your Iphone. Wonder if they had reception out there?

    Also, I know about howling dogs on bumpy roads. Poor Mighty Dog.

    Dianne

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  13. And that is the truth of it....life is a never ending learning experience....for those who are astute enough to realize it. So what if you didn't "learn" where the rescue place was....you did learn other things instead. That's the reason I never mind standing in line, listen to a story I've heard before and look around as much as possible....I might miss out on something new to know.
    I have learned to pull the plug on some things...and it always leaves me with a....I wonder, but there are somethings best left covered.
    Poor puppy....I don't like dirt roads either but that's another thing. Oma Linda

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  14. Poor dear sweet Mighty, and you, too! I find it heartbreaking that dear Mighty was so traumatized by what happened to him that after ALL these years with you---He was still so very worried. It's just like people, isn't it? Dear Dear Mighty.

    I do not hang in with a book or a movie till the bitter end---I guess I don't see the point...lol! There are so very many wonderful books and films, etc....Why waste time is my reasoning...
    And I think I would have turned around as soon as Mighty started being so upset...PLUS, knowing myself, I would have brought the address with me....Funny, isn't it?

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  15. Oh, boy! I can just feel the worry that you both had. What is funny about this story is that you ended up right where you began. What are the odds of that.

    Yes, I have stayed too long because of investment, and have struggled through too many bad books. We don't go to many movies, so I'm pretty careful about making sure that I'll like them if I can.

    Glad you guys made it out alive ... wonder if that shelter has moved?

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  16. I just hung up the phone from talking to a sister in law who is the worst for making bad bad decisions and keeping on down the wrong path until life forces her to change direction. She always puts herself through a lot of pain in the process.

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  17. Oh your poor dog. I have been down many a dirt road exploring but nowadays I think it would be kind of scary, I watch too many criminal movies on TV which are quite discouraging. I too have some cat food my cats won't eat you have reminded me I need to donate that.

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  18. I have a terrible fear of being lost. I especially don't like it when I'm out hiking. Lucky you ended up on your own road. Interesting how that worked out.

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  19. What a wonderful post! I wondered how it would end. The dirt road led to the street you live on? How odd! I tend to walk out on bad movies and stop reading a bad book. Don't know what I would have done if I were on your dirt road. Lol.

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  20. There's a really good lesson here for me in this story...

    I need to cut my losses in some areas of my life and I have been avoiding it...

    Thanks, sweetie!

    Give Mighty a hug from me...

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  21. Can't wait for the sequel. Before I had scolled down enough to see the dueling banjo serenade, I was thinking to myself..."sounds like Deliverance, she'd better get out of there." And you did!! Good job!

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  22. Coloring outside the lines,
    You are right and that fear is what kept me going.

    Merisi,
    When you get old enough, you realize we don't have the time to waste. You are still a puppy yet.

    Djan,
    That is why I love the free Kindle books. No guilt dumping. Thanks, Mighty probably got the worst of it.

    smart cat,
    I left you a link on your blog as to how I found out he was intolerant. Or you can go here

    http://thenewsixty.blogspot.com/2009/10/gluten-and-seizures.html

    LC
    I know, it took a while to realize that if a book or movie is bad in the beginning, it usually doesn't get better.
    Those country roads do beckon don't they.

    Olga,
    I probably would have too had I known what was going on. I was naive enough at that time to think he was just being spanked. Duh.

    Barry,
    It does get a bit unnerving doesn't it? Maybe I need to get a GPS. I still haven't gone to the shelter. Think I will call first since they don't put out signs.

    Dee,
    Keep that survival instinct sharp. It is a life saver.

    Ginnie,
    You know I do believe it is an age thing. You are right, there is less and less time to waste.

    islandwonder,
    Me too, thanks to Kindle. Now I don't have to slug thru garbage. Feels good huh?

    Dianne,
    I know, maybe the original song was designed for banjos. It was the only thing I liked about the movie out side of the scenery.

    Linda in NM
    I know what you mean. I just dumped a book that I was warned was a slow starter, but for me I couldn't hang around any longer for it to get interesting. Time's a wasting.

    OOLOH,
    I probably need to do some daily conditioning of Mighty with brief stints on a dirt road,possibly with a friend to distract him. Dirt roads are plentiful in this area and I would love for him to be comfortable with them.

    Kathy,
    No, it is still there, I guess they try to discourage drop ins. I will call next time.

    Linda,
    Don't you just feel so badly for people like that. They have so much pain ahead of them.

    Linda Starr,
    It was getting a bit scary, That is why I felt the Deliverance reference.

    robin,
    Gosh. You and Roger do so much hiking. Hope you have a GPS. Lost is so frightening.

    gigihawaii,
    Well, it was my road but about 10 miles from home. Still, it was a real relief.

    RMW,
    Hope there was something positive in my misadventure. Mighty says thanks.

    Clamity Janet,
    That movie comes to mind whenever I am in a spooky setting in the woods. I was happy I didn't meet anyone on the road.

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  23. Took me quite a few years to learn but I can walk out of a bad movie no matter how much the tickets cost, put down a bad book I bought, AND recognize when I am lost and undone. Poor little Mighty. Oh, and poor you as well. (BTW: It is never REALLY deleted from your Kindle. It lives on forever in the archives.)

    If it makes you feel better, I got lost in downtown Brevard (population 6,500) trying to find the new DMV office. After living here for five years.

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  24. HA HA Patti... That sounds like something we have done MANY times. In searching for waterfalls, sometimes we go for miles and miles on roads like that.. I am usually okay with it --unless there is snow, ice, or lots of mud and mudholes... That's when I panic.... But--most of the time, we enjoy those old mountain backroads....

    Glad you made it home!!!! Hope you can find the shelter..
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  25. I hear ya' about going down the wrong road and wondering if you should give up, or press on. But, one that comes out on the road where you live? I don't know about that! Maybe your dog knew it all along.

    Btw, Deliverance (great movie, great song)was set in Georgia, not Arkansas, wasn't it?

    Finally, re. your last post, I like the idea of the suspenders!

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  26. Maybe it was a good thing you had Mighty ...even though he wimpered and shared your lap ...he was atleast company during the experience ...especially if you had got stuck.

    I tend to give in and go back on my self if I get lost ...cant be bothered with books that dont grab me in the first chapter and keep me hooked ...but films are something different ... I tend to watch to the bitter end ...and then ask 'why did I watch that?'xx

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  27. Poor Mighty. Luckie has an adversion to water. will not even drink for the edge of a pond or the lake and ride in the boat will never happen. She doesn't even like to walk on the walkways to our boat stall. Makes you wonder what her former life before rescue was really like. I hate contemplate it

    I have quit books, abandoned bad projects etc when I realize it was a bad decision or futile effort.

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  28. PS I don't leave home without my GPS which even if it does not get me to where I want to go, I can hit GO HOME and wherever I am, even the middle of a cow pasture it will finally get me home.

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  29. My kitty has a fear of something (anything) being moved over top of her--say you have a bag or box or anything in your hands and it happens to pass above her head...kitty freak out. I know she was a stray on a road--I can only assume that the kind people who rescued her nabbed her by dropping a box or something over top of her. Maggie has not forgotten or forgiven.

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  30. Sweet little Mighty, poor baby that was such a bad experience he has not forgotten it after all the years being with you. Sure glad you found your way home. I am not one to stick with anything that does not feel right or that is not interesting but I have been down a few roads like you were on. I hate being on a road that you can turn around on and have no idea where it will end. Wishing you good luck on the next trip to the shelter. Hugs and some nose kisses for Mighty

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  31. Your brave and adventures..I have been in similar situations...but then I am a back road wanderer. I bet you were surprised and relieved to be dumped back on the road you live on. LOL

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  32. NC Mountain Woman,
    Yes thank you, that does make me feel better.
    I know, maybe someday I dig them out of the archives and try again. Pretty sure I would have to be hard up for reading material but good to know.

    Betsy,
    Oh my, I'll bet you have been down some interesting roads. I only get nervous when there is no where to turn around. you can count on no cell service.

    Sightings,
    You are right about Ga but any isolated back woods area reminds me of that scary movie.
    The road ran parallel to my road and had Loop in the title. That should have made me feel better.

    Angie,
    I know, when you sit through a bad movie, that is 2 wasted hours of your life you can't get back. I watch DVDs now so it isn't so costly to quit watching.

    Nitwit,
    My GPS is not too accurate in this area for some reason. It thinks I live about a mile from where I actually do.
    Poor Luckie. Do you suppose she was ever in a flood or maybe some idiot tried to drown her. I hate that we can't just make them understand that everything is all right.

    Patricia K. Lichen
    Our poor strays come with such unknown baggage. Hopefully it was that and not someone doing something awful to her.
    They have amazing memories.

    Chancy,
    I know. I always fear that I will stumble on a still or meth lab and not be welcome.
    Next time, I will call first.

    Dee,
    Considering I started out only a couple hundred feet from my road, I was hoping it would loop back to it again. I love to explore, just get a bit anxious when I think
    I've gotten trapped. Not so brave then.

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  33. My post today is on paths and taking the right one. lol

    I am so glad Mighty has you and vice versa.

    Remember the address next time.
    sandie

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  34. Yes, I've done this before. I hate to feel lost, and I hate it even more when I can't find a place to turn around. I do this in the mountains sometimes. I think I know where I am, but then I realize it has been too many years since I went down that dirt road and I no longer know where it will end up.

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  35. Oh wow I can just see you going down the road and hear that music with Mighty moaning.
    I don't know who to feel more sorry for you are Mighty. haha
    Girlfriend I always love reading your adventures. I too get lost on roads like these and yes you are talking to the number one lady for the bad habit of hanging on or in there or whatever.
    Hard to believe that Mighty still remembers after 13 years. I beginning to think she and I might have a lot in common other than the name Mighty.
    My girlfriend from college calls me that. lol
    Love
    Maggie

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  36. Mighty's nerves were shot an yours were....irritated? Oh well it seems even Mighty should like a ride in the country.
    I hope you find your lost shelter.
    GQ

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  37. Poor Mighty -- it makes me so mad to think what people did to him, leaving him like that. I'll definitely leave a bad movie and drop a bad book, but a road? You never know what you might find at the end and I don't think exploring is a waste of time. In your case, with poor Mighty, the trip was not so good, of course.

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  38. I got lost several years ago, after swearing I knew where we were going. I missed a turnoff and we went about 18 miles out of our way, but we eventually ended up close to where we needed to be.

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  39. I'm okay as long as I have cell phone reception wherever I go. A few weeks ago while driving a gravel road beside the MO River, I noticed the edge of the road that had been washed away had become just a tad bit of a huge dropoff and hoped I didn't meet anyone. Good idea about keeping an emergency kit handy. Poor Mighty! Glad you both found your way out safely!

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  40. Chatty Crone,
    Your post reminded me that several times in the trip, I was faced with a branch in the road. Evidently I took the right one.

    Retired English Teacher,
    Those mountain road are famous for beckoning us, then stranding us. I need to watch less crime shows.

    Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Hum, Mighty Maggie. I can really see that especially after reading the posts about your prison ventures.
    Animals have better memories than we give them credit for.

    Grayquill,
    Actually I was distressed because he was so miserable and I couldn't help him except by finding a paved road.
    I finally found the place yesterday.

    Inger,
    When I first moved here I used to take tank of gas day trips exploring. Now that tank has gotten a bit too expensive.
    Sadly stray dogs always come with a bit of baggage.

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  41. I missed this excellent post!!

    I'm pretty good at switching off a film, or stopping a book I'm reading because I don't like them, or I don't feel happy with the content from a moral point of view. Also if I'm lost in the car which is quite often whilst driving the kids to obscure addresses I will turn back and start the journey again, or turn back until I reach a place I recognise.

    I find life is too short short to be wasting time on the wrong journey.

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  42. Oh my goodness! That is really scary! Thank goodness you found your way back. A good GPS might be good to keep in your car.

    Poor Mighty... My son's dog, Mungo must have been mistreated by a fellow who wears caps and glasses. Mungo definitely prefers women.

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  43. LLCool Joe
    You are so right. The older we get the more that becomes apparent.

    Kay,
    For some reason, my GPS doesn't work in my area. It thinks I live about a mile from where I actually do. Maybe I need an update?

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  44. Since the mystery road took you right back to your own one I think it was right to keep going. Sometimes following an instinct when all seems wrong works.
    I have not been lost in my area but definitely in distant places once or twice.

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