Monday, October 25, 2010

The Monkey's Paw

When I was in grade 4, we watched an old black and white horror movie in class by author W.W. Jacobs for our Halloween Party called The Monkey's Paw. It was published in England in 1902 and it totally freaked me those days I was still having a hard time with the story of Icabob crane in The Sleepy Hollows.

The story of The Monkey's Paw is based on the premise in which three wishes are granted. In the story, the paw of a dead monkey is a talisman that grants its possessor three wishes, but the wishes come with an enormous price for interfering with fate. For example, the couple that possess the paw wish for a pile of money, which is granted to them in the form of compensation for their son's horrible machinning death at work the next day. Basically, the moral of the story is you can't tempt fate and if you do it will be to your sorrow.

In the months and days leading up to this move, I thought about this movie alot. I wondered..."what have I done??? Where on earth are we going and what are we going to do there?" We were comfortable and settled where we were and now I felt as though I was throwing our lives upside down out of some selfish wish for change. Was I messing with our fate? I was sick and exhausted in my early stages of pregnancy and when it came time to look for a place to live down here--absolutely depressed.

It was a cold, windy, drizzly day and we looked at 10 to 12 listings down here, all of them being either overpriced, to far away, complete fixer uppers, or some combination of such. We were running out of options. As a last ditch attempt we dragged ourselves into the local coffee shop hoping to run into some locals that may know of any other options. Inside it was your typical small town local coffee shop scene, about 8 older people all packed around a table, coffee cups in front of them, laughing, talking, giving each other a hard time. As we stepped into view, you could sense a palpable hush come over the group. We were the outsiders in their coffee shop...not a common occurance I am sure. We placed our order and chit-chatted with the lady behind the counter..."Where are you folks from?" she shouted loud enough for the rest of the patrons to hear. We responded likewise, explaining (half to her and half to the rest of the room) that we were looking for a place to live as we would be moving down here. This issued an invitation from the table at the back of the room, which we joined and after introductions were given a few more options. Jeremy, scribbled names and numbers on a napkin and then a kind old lady named Betty put a napkin over her coffee cup to keep the heat in and motioned us to follow her. Back out in the rain, she hopped into her 250 pickup truck and us in our little station wagon and we drove the few blocks down the road to a nice little mobile home. The older couple (mid to late 60's)were just packing up the last of their possessions. They had felt a call from God to move to Newfoundland, had sold most of their earthly belongings, loaded up the rest into a trailer and were setting off in the morning across Canada to their new home. I admired their exitement and adventure...perhaps because my own had been progressively waning. They gave us the tour informed us of the neighbors, and told us their asking price. Being close to what we paid in the city for our home, we weren't too enticed. At this point renting was seeming like the best option. As we walked back to our car, Betty told us of another house. Grandma L's house had burned down in a fire and was just in the final stages of being rebuilt. She didn't know what their plans were with the house once it was finished but gave us the phone number and range road directions. We took a drive out and instantly as I pulled into the tree-lined driveway, I felt an increased sense of hope. We climbed the ladder to the porch and peared in the windows. The house was beautiful inside but the real selling feature was the yard. Beautiful large trees surrounded the property. I never have liked winter, but an image of what this place would look like in the winter with snow blanketing the trees flashed into my mind and it was beautiful. For this, I think I could get use to life down here quite easily. We called the owners, and inquired if they were interested in renting it out...They said they would get back to us in 2-3 weeks once they had a chance to think about things and talk with the family. The wait was long and we were nervous but finally recieved a message on our voice mail that they would consider it and for us to call them back to talk business.
Well, the rest as they say is history. We moved into one of the nicest places here in the hills and could not be happier. Every time I pull into our driveway, I am grateful for the opportunity to live here. Of course there are the downsides, who knows how long they will want to rent it our for...and then the water took some time to get used to. There is no potable water so we haul our drinking water in, and water from the dugout is pumped into the house for the remainder of our bathing/dishdoing, laundering needs. There is a septic tank but ultimately the sewage is pumped out to a nearby feild--when the wind blows a certain way, you can definitely catch a wiff of something (if you know what I mean)...I guess that is just the way they do things out here. I have been cityfied the last few years so it has taken some time to get used to, but I don't think I mind the dirt-smelling water from the dugout anymore when I am showering. Anyway, Monkey's Paw, Schmonkey's paw...Life here is pretty good. Stay tuned for pictures (I think the kiddos will be getting up soon)...I post pictures tonight.


  1. Monkey's Paw Schmonkey's paw indeed! Love your POSTS! Keep em coming and PLEASE post some pictures!

  2. I am DYING for your pictures. I loved this post Crystal. You'll be so happy to read it in years to come. We can't wait to come stay at the Sanctuary soon!!! (oh, and I'm always amazed how we grew up in the same house, going to the same school with the same teachers but your experiences are always so different than mine???!! Sounds like a creepy movie!)