Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Give Me the Suburbs!!! Part 1
I have been obsessed lately with the idea of living in a refurbished farmhouse on a couple of acres, and raising chickens and pygmy goats. That way, our grandchildren (of which we have none) would love to visit us. The catch is I don’t want to live out in the country. I’m afraid of the country. I tried it. Sure, I like nature as much as the next person. I just don’t want it in my backyard, uninvited.
When I was in my early twenties and a newlywed, my husband and I decided to buy a home out in the country. We had tired of living in the city where we went to sleep every night to the sound of police sirens. I couldn’t wait for some peace and quiet, and the feeling of being safe. It was about a week after we moved in, when I started to question our decision. My husband left for work, and I was going to wash the dishes before showering and heading to work myself. One of the features I loved about our new house was the large window above the kitchen sink. I could look out past our yard, across a gully, and all the way to a new housing development about a quarter of a mile away. On this particular morning, my eyes didn’t go past our yard. It was filled with cows. They were just milling about, you know, the way cows do. Now, I’m from the suburbs, and I only know very basic things about cows. My husband grew up in a semi-rural area, so I called him.
“We have cows…what should I do?” I was very disappointed, because he knew nothing about cows. "I thought you grew up in the country?" I said accusingly, suddenly wondering how well I really knew this man. "Maybe you can just shoo them away.” Great, I was on my own. I went out on the deck with a saucepan and a spaghetti pot and banged them loudly together. I kid you not; I don’t think I got a blink of an eye from any of them. Not only were they lost, but they were hard of hearing, too. I refused to get any closer to them because I kept seeing this scene in my mind of being trampled to death in my own backyard. Our dog was barking in the house, and I thought about letting her out, but I knew she couldn't help. She was a sled dog. Why the heck did I move to the country with a sled dog, when what I really needed was a herder? I had so much to learn.
It was time for plan B. I grabbed my car keys, with the brilliant idea of finding the farm where they belong. And, how would I know which farm it was? Easy, it was the one without cows. I smiled at my genius. After an hour of searching, I finally had to give up and drive home. Hmm…I didn’t even have a plan C. Then, it came to me. I just had to figure out which of them was the leader, and if I could coax that one out of the yard, the others would follow. Yes, that was an extremely lame plan, but it turns out, I didn’t have to use it. The backyard was cow-less. I strutted back and forth on the deck with a new air of confidence. Next time, I told myself, I would bravely leave the safety of the deck, and slap their rumps with loud instructions to vacate my yard. Looking back, it was probably a good thing that the cows never appeared again.
Coming soon—Give Me The Suburbs!!! Part 2