Life out here is beautiful.
Life out here is peaceful and dirty and busy and windy and full of long “to-do” lists staring us in the face.
And life out here can be weird.
My first example: Last Sunday night when we arrived home from a trip to see Husband’s family, I was working on unloading the groceries and figuring out the jig-saw puzzle that has become my refrigerator while talking to a friend on the phone when my dearly beloved husband sauntered into the kitchen with a hammer in his hand and declared:
“There was a bat in the bedroom.” And then he nonchalantly walked over to the fridge to free up some space by grabbing a beer.
My mouth dropped and so did the package of celery that was working it’s way into a nook of drawer space as I screamed into the phone:
“HERE! In the NEW house! Why? How? Whyyyy?”
Husband cracked open his beer and walked over to the cupboard in the entryway to replace the hammer.
I stood there with my mouth open, looking up, over my shoulders, scanning the walls and then up at the ceiling again, scoping out any signs of additional intruders as he walked over to me, took a sip and said,
“Don’t worry. I got him with the hammer.”
I have combined this little episode with the fact that I’ve had a golfball sized crack in the driver’s side of my windshield since the beginning of May and a companion chip that showed up around mid June. I’m worried that we might soon be getting a call to pose for the cover of the “Rednecks of America” magazine because I refuse to fix them. Because out here when you have a thirty mile drive to town behind gravel trucks and pickups that go too fast, I have convinced myself that installing a new windshield is like asking for another giant rock chip.
And so I will not take the risk. Instead, I’m somehow comforted knowing that I already have two giant rock chips and am okay with watching my world fly by this way. Because I know they’re there. Apparently I’m not comfortable with the invented and preconceived rock chip that is certain to appear once I spend money on my already ruined windshield.
That is ridiculous.
Which reminds me of another behavior that I cannot explain and certainly have no laid out plans to change. The dogs. When left to their own devices they continue to flee to the nearest drilling rig in search of leftover lunches, t-bone steaks, enchiladas and a rig hand willing to play fetch for hours and let them sleep in their camper. Each time we decide to trust the hooligans to be on their own unsupervised in the great outdoors we find ourselves scouring the countryside for the misguided pets only to find them miles away in doggy heaven.
And each time we go and look for them.
We can’t seem to take a hint. Feed them t-bones, let them sleep in our bed and keep them forever.
Dry dog food and a spot on the floor? When will we realize that ain’t cutting it?
And when will we get it together and build a damn fence already?
Which leads me to the weirdest thing of all. With all of the trouble we have keeping the dogs we have raised and fed for their entire canine lives at home, we have now discovered that a stray puppy is living in our grain bins and seeking refuge in the culvert underneath our road. We have tried and failed to capture the little guy, who is more like a wild coyote now than a dog, skeptical and resourceful, but a bit intrigued by the humans who poke their heads in on him to fill his food bowl. And now our dinner conversations have been centered around how that poor pup got their in the first place.
And how we might tame him.
That stray puppy is strange and intriguing and sad mixed in with a twinge of that feeling of childhood wonder and hope that we might save this thing…
Yes, out here, no matter how predictable we think our lives have become, whether or not we expect the daily visit from the cattle to graze and shit in the short grass outside our unfenced yard despite the fact that there are acres to shit upon, we seem to always be a little in awe…
About how the dogs always run away and how we never learn. By the sudden startle of a horse, a swarm of unwelcome wasps, and this pan that has been sitting on this hill for longer than I have been alive and I have no idea why.
Yes, life out here is wonderful, broken, dusty, shitty, beautiful, predictably unpredictable…and just weird sometimes.