Georgia Bound 11 – Swan Lake

One of the pet-friendly places that we found was Swan Lake Mobile Home Community. We checked out some of the rentals and fell in love with one in particular which is a mere block from the lake. For only $412 a month, it is spacious enough to let the birds out and fly around and Zues can run from one end to the other as fast as his little Chihuahua legs can take him.

Mattie doesn’t run much however. She’s rather old. The vet estimated her age at about fourteen years, but we are not entirely certain. She was rescued from a puppy mill by the humane society. She has no teeth due to malnutrition so we have to give her soft food. When we first adopted her, she would just stand in a corner with her head hung low and she would jump at the slightest sound. Now she is full of life. When Zues barks at a passing neighbor so does she, even though she doesn’t know what she is barking at. This is an improvement since she never barked in the beginning.

What really won us over about Swan Lake is the free community WiFi! Our lives are interwoven with the world wide web. Everything we do is on the internet. We watch television on Netflix. We video chat with our family through Skype. We do our banking and shopping online. We get our weather, news, recipes, etc. all online. I have this website, I have accounts with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google plus, ReverbNation, Animal Rights Zone and much more. With my Facebook and Twitter friends growing daily and website hits going into tens of thousands, I knew we were most certainly in the right place. We settled in at 11 High Bluff Road NE, our new home.

We found ads in Craig’s List for free and cheap furniture. We did some shopping at second hand stores, the Dollar Tree and Dollar General. It wasn’t long before our house was a home. We also set up the old laptop to find that the signal was too weak to download a webpage and that was only when we were able to get a signal at all. We went to the Swan Lake office and talked to the manager, Sarah. Her response was, “Well I don’t understand. My internet comes in fine. You should get it too.” I tried to explain to her that being online was imperative. She simply repeated what she had said before.

After talking to some of the neighbors, we found that much of the community does not receive the “free community WiFi.” Oh well! At least Sarah does and I guess that’s all that matters.

Jenni brought me to Starbucks almost every day so that I could go online. Meanwhile, she made calls to find out how we could get online. Cable internet was out of the question. Swan Lake required that we go through them to get cable internet. They have a bulk account with Comcast. We would have to sign up for cable television (which we do not watch) in order to gain the added expense of obtaining cable internet. The only affordable option that remained was getting DSL from ATT. Ugh! Yes, that ATT! The ATT that proudly endorses dolphin captivity at Georgia Aquarium. Well, what could we do? I’ll tell you what. We got the ATT internet and I campaigned against them with my petition, Ask ATT Why They Support Dolphin Captivity. There was actually a sweet irony in it all. I was using their connection to expose their unethical practices.

You can call this a free country, but not if your family is on disability and you want affordable internet while living on Swan Lake. That is, affordable internet from the ISP of your choice which would usually be cable internet in our case. I am still not happy that I was put in a position, as a marine conservation advocate, to subscribe to a service that I so vehemently opposed.

Jesse came down from Massachusetts to spend the remainder of the summer with us. She and I walked to the lake almost every day to feed the ducks and the geese. She loved it! Kyra, on the other hand, was afraid of the geese. She only came with us once before she decided to stay at home each morning. I took plenty of pictures and video to capture the moments but we both wished we could do a bit more at the lake. Unfortunately, Swan Lake has plenty of rules. There is no swimming, boating, tubing, etc. No one is actually allowed to go into the lake for any reason. Wow! This could be a good thing! It’s almost like a reserve where the natural wildlife in and upon the lake can thrive and live in peace. How refreshing! Oh, wait! I forgot to mention that fishing is allowed. So if you are a vegetarian, you will have no use for Swan Lake save for feeding the birds and taking pictures.

It was hard to see Jesse leave and go back to Massachusetts. Kyra took it pretty hard. She kept looking for her younger sister whenever she came home from school. She cried for her. We tried to explain that Jesse would not be back until next summer but, even though she is eight, her autism seems to have impaired her sense of time.

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