I took this picture about a year ago, shortly after we moved in. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I mean, it's not every day that you get to see a trailer on stilts. When my mom and sister came to visit I even had to drive them past it, so they could see this work of art for themselves. Unfortunately, the stilts have now been covered up and it looks kinda normal:
I'm not an expert on construction or trailers or anything like that, so there might be an actual reason why this trailer is so high up. My guess, though, for those of you wondering, is that it has to do with the flooding that can occur in Chauncey. Oh yeah, another great part of Chauncey is that it floods. Since I've been here the flooding hasn't been bad. My house hasn't had any damage or anything and, technically, it's not in the flood plain. Normally what happens is it floods on the two main roads that you need to enter or leave Chauncey. That is a pain because then you have to either take the "Chauncey Flood Route," which leads you on a windy, narrow, gravel/dirt road that is actually quite scary to drive on, or you have to go about 30 minutes out of your way just for, what normally is, a 5-7 minute drive into Athens. I know, I know. For those of you that live in bigger cities, 30 minutes is nothing. When I was in St. Paul, my normal commute to work or school was 30 minutes on a really good day with little to no traffic; with traffic, though, or even rain or snow, the commute would be over an hour. It never bothered me and I never even thought twice about it. Now, though, I'm so used to living in a small town that 30 minutes to get from Chauncey to Athens is a LONG time.
The thing about driving in a small town versus in a city is that while you might not be dealing with all the traffic congestion type problems you have to deal with a lot of other even more annoying driving issues. For instance, I have noticed that Ohio has the slowest drivers I have ever seen; people consistently drive under the speed limit. In St. Paul, you go at least 5 miles over the speed limit if not 10 or 15. This would not be an issue if we had a lot of four-lane roads around here, because you could just pass the slow-poke. However, most of our roads are windy two-lanes, so if you get stuck behind someone who apparently IS IN NO FREAKIN' hurry to get anywhere, you have to drive behind them and suffer. They aren't bothered either if you ride their bumper ... they just keep goin' on up the road without a care in the world. ARGH!
I mean, no one around here even seems to mind that there is a STOP SIGN at a TRAFFIC LIGHT (this is in front of Tractor Supply in Athens)!!! What do you do? Do you stop at the stop sign first, even when there's a green light? It's so confusing.
The other thing is that in a city all the roads have signs on them. So, if someone tells you that you have to go 99W and take a left on Johnson Blvd and then a right on Taylor Way Lane when you will soon see the big red house on the left with the white car in the driveway, you are assured you'll get there with little problem since all the roads will have signs. Well, that's not so in Southeastern Ohio. Apparently, "they" like to make you guess as to what road you're turning down. I've been on at least two work-related drives where roads have been unmarked. I can tell that you're thinking, "Sure, that's a pain, but just pick up your cell phone and call to get better directions." Oh, how lovely that would be, if it were so easy. Unfortunately, cell phone service goes in and out around this area and right when you really need your cell phone you'll pick it up and it has NO BARS! I've been in pretty desperate sitations in the past where I've done the whole rolling down the window and holding out your cell phone while driving hoping the Satellite Gods will give me a signal thing.
One time, my coworker, Darlene, and I were driving out to Meigs County (a neighboring county to the one I live in) for work-related reasons. Well, we're driving, driving, and driving, when we realize, "Um, yeah, something isn't right." We came to an intersection where we had to make a choice, go right or go left, and, according to our directions, we should still be going straight. Grrreeeaattt. So, we end up taking a left and stopping at a small gas station to see if they know where Rt 256 is, or whatever the name was of the road we were looking for. Since we stopped at the gas station station, I decided to go to the bathroom. It's one of those bathrooms where you need a key to get in, which I have no idea why since it was a hellish looking room with a nasty looking toilet. I didn't even sit down ... i just hovered. So when I came out Darlene says that the gas station attendant told her the road isn't marked, we passed it, and we need to head back down the road we came in on and once we see the big pool on the left that's our turn. Oh sure, the big pool! How could we have missed it? You know what the next part of our directions said? Look for the "T" in the road. Oy! The joys of driving in Southeastern Ohio!
Until next time...