Sunday, September 29, 2013
Whew! It is dusty in here! I had to sweep the cobwebs off of my blog space before I could find a spot to sit and write. It has been TOO LONG! Way too long.
And then moving happened.
And then I just got out of the habit of my weekly blog posts.
But I miss those weekly writing dates, so here I am again. I used to write many of these posts from my side porch at my old house. I loved that space to write. I do miss that porch. But, I am writing today from my new back porch. There are horses, cows, and a bull grazing in the field in front of me. My little green pond is sparkling in the sunshine (well, the few spots that aren't mucky with algae are sparkling). Matt is perched atop our "utility" vehicle (which is really mostly a toy), and my children are being carted along behind in an attached wagon. A pretty little bird with the unfortunate label of "titmouse" is pecking at food from a feeder. Luke, exhausted from chasing frogs and butterflies and cicadas, is conked out in the sunshine.
It's not been all sparkly ponds and butterflies since we moved here, mind you.
First of all, it was a rocky road getting this place--I won't bore you with the details. It's been a struggle, too, being further away from family and friends. Jack has had to start out in a new school. I am taxiing Amélie 45-minutes away each week for a homeschool co-op and piano lessons. Matt's job has been crazy. I know absolutely no one in this town (I email Jack's teacher to ask things like, "Does this town have a pharmacy?" And, "Where do you take your kids to the pediatrician?") I haven't found a place yet to get Jack's hair cut, so yesterday I hacked at his hair with safety scissors (because my scissors, apparently, are still hiding in a box). A week ago our sweet, dear 13 1/2-year-old weimaraner died.
So, we're adjusting and coping and grieving and stumbling through our days with klutzy grace.
One weird side effect of living here is Jack's strange conviction that "Missouri kids" are different than "Kansas kids." He is wrong, most likely, that Missouri and Kansas kids are truly different, but there is definitely a difference between "suburban" kids and "rural" ones. For example:
Jack came home asking for a bb gun with which to shoot cans the other day.
He desperately wants a bow and arrow.
He asked to watch Duck Dynasty because that's what some of the kids in his class watch (which we did on Friday night--I was both repelled and strangely attracted to that show).
He was AMAZED at all of the camouflage in Wal Mart (yes, Wal Mart. I hate Wal Mart. But I am temporarily lifting my avoid-Wal Mart-at-nearly-any-cost ban, partly because I am still figuring out where to grocery shop, and partly, quite frankly, because I already have to sell my soul and trade in my Costco membership for a Sam's Club membership). Anyway, so yes, the Wal Mart Supercenter five miles down the road is practically decorated in camouflage. There's a camouflage deer stand perched outside the store. The sporting goods section is HUGE, and while curiously wandering through it the other day I found a pink camouflage flask for sale. For real.
I am a little worried about Jack out here. It's not that I have anything against hunting or Duck Dynasty or even shooting cans with bb guns. But his dad and I are lost in this world. I mean, we don't even kill bugs, mostly. Last week I found a massive garden spider in my bathtub, so I caught it under a glass and released it into my yard. Amélie couldn't handle the trauma of watching frog hunting during Duck Dynasty (And who can blame her? We love our little frogs! I could never chop off their heads and eat their legs.). I can't imagine that we will ever buy a gun, despite the fact that the previous owner said we would need one for snakes and raccoons and skunks. We are those weird people who try, in vain, to use those humane live traps. How in the world are we going to fit in here? Is Jack going to start sobbing when he goes out hunting with his friends and they kill a deer?
Please don't misunderstand me. If you know me, you know I am not a vegetarian. I do try to buy meat that has been humanely raised, and you can't get much more "humanely raised" than killing a deer that has spent its life wandering a forest. I literally went YEARS without buying any sort of ground beef because I ate venison from deer that my grandpa had shot. So I'm not against hunting or meat or even pink camouflage flasks.
It's just not me. And I worry that we won't fit in. Mostly I worry that my kids won't fit in. I'm sure I worry in vain. I'm sure they will be fine. I'm sure one of these years Jack is going to find a bow and arrow under the Christmas tree. Amélie might add "pink camouflage hoodie" to her Christmas list.
You know, actually, the truth is...
Matt is the one who really doesn't fit in.
He needs a bigger truck.
P.S. So, this just happened, I kid you not (I am typing out this "P.S." several hours after writing this post): The guy from one of the three other houses on our gravel road just drove down in his (big) truck to see me. (Let's ignore the reason he was coming to see me, because it makes me nearly hyperventilate with anxiety. He, super nice guy that he is, was checking to make sure Luke had made it home, because my dumb dog, who is trying to make me die of anxiety, decided today that 5 acres isn't enough and that he also needs to explore the half-mile one-lane road we live on AND the country road our road leads to. It's not a very busy road, but my neighbor told me he heard a horn honking, and it was because Luke was in the middle of the road. Are you kidding me? We had one dog die of a bowel obstruction seven months ago and another dog die seven days ago. We cannot have another dog die. We cannot.) ANYWAY, my neighbor was drinking a can of beer while talking to me (still in his vehicle--is it illegal to drink and drive on a private road?) and I swear to you there was a rifle sitting in the passenger seat. I am, actually, all for gun control (go ahead--shoot me), but for some reason I just found it amusing that my neighbor was driving down to see me while drinking a beer and carting around a gun. What is happening to me?????
Let me just say this now: if you ever see me driving a big truck with a can of beer in my hand and a rifle in my passenger seat, would you please stage an intervention? Thank you.
P.P.S. For the record, this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek. I know that I am stereotyping "rural" kids and "suburban" kids. I know there are suburban kids who shoot bb guns and I know that there are rural girls who don't wear pink camo. Also, if you love Wal Mart, I still love you. And if you drink from a pink camo flask and drive with a rifle in your passenger seat, I still love you. I think.