We’re in the process of moving to a more rural area alllllll the way on the east end of Long Island. And there are a lot of things different about living there. For starters there is no sewer system (anywhere on Long Island I think). Where I grew up in New Jersey, when you flushed, pipes carried your stuff far away where you never had to think about it again. But out here there are septic tanks that STORE all your stuff in the backyard and have to be emptied periodically. Ew! Also, where we are moving, there is no garbage pickup! You have to take all your trash and recyclables in your car to the town recycling center yourself! After living in NJ and NYC for all those years (17+7+3), all of this blows my mind. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of awesome reasons to move out there that outweigh these inconveniences, but still, these things were so bizarre to me. Also, at night, it’s dark out there. And I mean, D-A-R-K. We have a porch light, and we could see about 3 feet in front of the porch, then endless black. And if you walk out into the driveway/street away from the light and let your eyes adjust, you can still only make out shadows. And the stars… there are 100,000,000x more stars in the sky there than any suburb of NYC.
The other thing I am getting used to is the wildlife, specifically deer. There are a billion deer out there, to the point that it is almost a nuisance to “society.” I, however, love deer. Every time I see one (or a bunch) it makes me happy. They are just so pretty and peaceful and graceful. Whenever I leave someone’s house out there at night, I always see a bunch driving out to the highway, then bunches of them grazing on the side of the highway, and sadly, occasionally a roadkill. I am always driving carefully, aware that one may bolt out at me any minute, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Well, last weekend, after we had moved some stuff, I was driving the moving truck back west, and the main road was busy, a constant flow of traffic going about 35 mph. From two cars ahead of me, I saw something dark fly over both lanes of traffic and land on the other side of the road. At first it looked like a bag of trash to me, and I thought, who would throw their trash over the lane of traffic. Then, in the split second it took in my mind, I registered something sticking out, ad it looked like tree branches to me – so I thought a tree or bush had broken off and fallen/flew. Then of course, it hit me that it was a deer. I couldn’t believe the height it had gotten. The car not right ahead of me, but the one before that had hit it, and it flew over the other lane of traffic and landed in the shoulder of the lane going the other direction. Traffic slowed down and I could see it on the side of the road. It wasn’t dead (yet), but it was on its side and its legs were twitching and there was a look of panic in its nearly still eyes. It was young, and very beautiful. And I couldn’t help it, I felt tears well up in my eyes and my throat got tight with near sobs. Missy and Ashley were a few minutes behind me in the car, and I called them to tell them what I saw, and they passed it a few minutes later and told me that it had died, which made me feel better that it wasn’t laying there suffering and frightened anymore. But I couldn’t believe that it was out alone on the crowded main street, in daylight.
As much as I love seeing deer out there, I’m never going to get used to seeing them get killed. And I seriously hope that it’s never me that hits one, I just can’t deal with that at all. The other stuff I can get used to, but it’ll never stop being sad to me when I see one of these beautiful animals get crushed.