Outdoors: Who do you think you’re talking to?

A couple of weeks ago, our doorbell rang at 2 a.m. You all must know what that feels like - something must be wrong, or someone is in trouble. The dinging on our cell phones followed by a voice saying, “someone’s at your door,” set off an alarm in my brain.

You see, we remodeled our house last year and didn’t know when someone was on our deck knocking at the door when we were in the living room. Consequently, we put in one of those new Ring doorbells that hooks to our phones through the Wi-Fi.

I was awake immediately and jumped out of bed, making my way into the kitchen where I could see the back door. Hm! No one was there. There was a little new-fallen snow on the deck, but no tracks. Then I looked further. At the bottom of our back steps was a large doe eating my shrubs. Further out in the yard were eight other deer pawing for the grass on my lawn. In the morning, my wife changed the focus on the built-in camera so that wouldn’t happen again.

Our modern devices often talk to us. I’m going to share a funny story that I told more than a dozen years ago, knowing that today I have numerous new readers.

My wife was working nights at Covidien in Hobart. At about 3 a.m., I was awakened by voices downstairs in my living room. I immediately sat up on bed and listened. There wasn’t a sound. Now awake, I didn’t hear anything, but I knew I wasn’t dreaming. I definitely heard someone talking.

I spent a moment or two deciding what to do. Sure, I could call 9-1-1, but I eventually decided to handle it on my own. The big decision was to either take my pistol or just sneak down the stairs in my underwear. I chose the latter; after all, that sure would scare most any intruder.

When my daughter was younger, she could come in at night and sneak up the stairs without making a sound. The stairs in that old house creaked and moaned just a little, but she had it all figured out.

I silently made my way down the stairs, keeping my feet on the left side next to the wall. We have a front door at the bottom of the stairs allowing me a clear view outside. With the aid of the neighbors’ outside light, I could see that there were no tracks in the snow leading up to the front porch.

Again I listened and peaked carefully around the doorway. There was no one in the living room, so I continued tip-toeing my way through the house. No one was there, so I checked the back deck. Again, the snow showed no sign of an intruder, so I went back to bed.

There was no way I was getting back to sleep any time soon. I know I definitely heard voices. There was no doubt in my mind. Then I heard it again: “change your batteries, please.” The darn fire alarm was talking to me.

Times are changing faster than some of us can keep up. I’m just thankful I can still climb the mountains to get away from phone service. I surely don’t want to be hiking and have my phone tell me I should have made a left turn at the fork in the trail. It’s more fun figuring it out as you go along.


I got a call this morning. The folks producing the film “The Journey Home” in Oneonta are looking to borrow an older, rugged-looking fur coat in size men’s large for their production. If you have one, email me at robrockway@hotmail.com. Thanks.

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