Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I can't ever go back...

I spent some formative years on a flat piece of cornfield that had been left with about 5 scraggly big trees in a fence row. My parents sculptured it to their liking--you can do that when you purchase earth-moving equipment for fun--and forced me into landscaping slave labor for eons, but it turned out really well. Then I went to college.

Then, like most people in this country, I moved into the city for a job. I had apartments, rental house and in-town neighborhood life. Where, when I washed my dishes in the sink, I could wave at my neighbor while she washed dishes in her sink. And where my oldest roller-bladed on my next door neighbor's paved driveway, RIGHT under my dining room window. The neighborliness was fun in some ways. Anyone who had Handyman for a neighbor was blessed.

Then one day, one of our kids' friends pulled too many needles off a pine tree when he was playing...and then Handyman's bike got stolen out of the garage while we were home and then there was the guy sleeping off his drunk in the BACK OF OUR CAR in the driveway. And the dogs couldn't even get their heart rates up going back and forth across the yard...

There is something so wonderful about opening your kitchen door and sending your 5 yr. old out with a baggie for chickens and two dogs to accompany and never having a worry. There's no neighbors to irritate, there's no roads to fret over, there's no pristine suburbia to damage...I don't know how others do it. We don't need no stinkin' curtains! ;)

We can dig big holes if we want and just leave 'em. We can pile leaves higher than our heads and then, leave 'em. We can fling manure over the paddock fence and pretend we're fertilizing the yard. We even sprinkle grass seed down the center of our driveway in the spring--to make Handyman's childhood fantasy come true.

We've already struggled through several years of removing the previous owner/tenants' piles of crapola, here and there and everywhere. We unloaded a lot of brightly-colored Little Tykes yardware this summer and now, we just don't really want to go anywhere very often.

We like to sit and watch our leaves, or our tomatoes, or our great blue herons, or the bats at night or those ridiculous chickens. We mow and shovel and rake and seed and sit and listen and see stars that our friends in town can't find on a good night.

Yeah, the manure is continuous, but it grows great tomatoes. The mowing is pretty constant, for a season, but frankly we fight over who gets meditation time to mow, now that #1 is heavy enough to keep the motor running when bouncing over the terrain. The driveway can be a pain in the winter, but that's why God invented 4WD--and my littlest buddy can climb real apple trees, with real apples and eat them and throw them and play outdoors without supervision for hours.

The only thing we're missing is some surf...

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