Along with confronting my fears about horses, I had the chance to face another fear this week. My parents have a house in the mountains of North Carolina. (just happy to be related) It's the best of both worlds since we live at the beach and have access to this beautiful home in the mountains. The house is in a small valley that has a small town, a college and a conference center. In the summer, the conference center is bustling with activity and people are everywhere. Every other season but summer and it feels deserted. Their house is on a gravel road with 3 other houses but theirs' is set apart enough that you feel totally alone.
A few years ago the house flooded from a split hose on the washing machine, and it wasn't found for days. The house had a lot of damage, but my mom chose to see it as an opportunity to change some things around. (she loves to remodel) The work was completed and I was in town for a meeting, but staying at the conference center because the house is too darn big for one person. After our meetings one night, four of my friends and I snuck away to the house so they could see all the work that had been done. It didn't start well, one in our party thought she saw a light on which was suspicious. After laughing at my paranoia, another of my friends charged in and stopped immediately because a door on the back side of the house was wide open!! At this point, I was ready to either run for the car or call the police. I was voted down, 3-2. The other girl that voted with me, we made sure we stayed in the middle of everyone. We were neither the first nor the last to enter a room. We've seen enough horror movies to know that the stragglers are among the first to go! We finished the tour and left without further incident. The next day I drove home, and after I got home my mom called me, I thought to ask me how the house looked. Instead, she was telling me that the police had just called her because they had caught some people who had evidently robbed several houses in this small valley and they confessed to taking things from my parents' house! They were interrupted but came back, got a few things, but were spooked again. When the police went to the house, everything was packed up to go. They were going to clean everything out, dishes were on the counter, pictures off the wall, area rugs rolled up. Not at all how it looked when I left. It was with a certain amount of perverse glee that I sent the email to my friends to tell them my survival instincts were right on the money!
So flash back to the present. My mom needs to check on the house because the summer season is approaching and there are a few small jobs that need to be done. We drove up and started to get settled in the house. I picked up the phone and it was dead. Uh-oh. Not a big deal, right? We have cell phones! Who even needs a land line anymore? Except their house is where cell service goes to die. If you lean off the corner of the deck, you might be able to grab enough of a signal to make a call. I used this strategy to report the problem with the phone line. I laughed as I repeated myself louder and louder as if my volume could overcome the signal breaking up. Here we were, the two of us, in this big remote house with no means of communicating with the outside world. Ack. The rational adult in me says that this is a safe area with low crime, the previous break in was truly a fluke, AND they never would have gone in a house that was occupied. The not-so-rational scaredy cat in me shouted "RUN!"
Guess which side won? The rational one. I know, right, it totally surprised me too. I settled into bed that night and went over my rational arguments for safety, prayed, read my book for a few minutes and drifted off to sleep. I feel amazing for having overcome another fear related situation but don't expect me to be jumping out of planes any time soon!