Putting On Airs Pollutes Your Environment

Today was a beautiful day- both inside and out. The Schenaniganlets and I slept in til the  ripe ole hour of 8:30am, while Captain Schenanigans reported to church early to play drums for both worship services. Everything fell into place. The weather was shiney and clear making a sparkly Fall day; the kids and I were happy from sleep, a leisurely breakfast, and a first time every bike ride before church.

The afternoon’s highlight was a MASSIVE nap, alone, in the very center of my bed. It was awesome. Only made better by the fact that as I slumbered, the children were being read a chapter book by their father in the living room. How very Norman Rockwell of them!

So, go ahead and shatter that image, and lets get back to real life. I awoke to kids watching Netflix and a hubby on his iPad. Stuff Mr. Rockwell never saw coming.

After a lovely afternoon where Girlchild VOLUNTEERED TO CLEAN MY CHICKEN COOP (oh my goodness, acts of service = totally my love language) and my large and small favorite men raked all the straw off the back lawn (leftover from planting grass, we actually have a green yard now), things were feeling pretty good! Captain Schenanigans had made 2 all weather boxes to keep our doe rabbits warm this winter, and we had the pleasure of arranging them in the current hitch, and watching the girls happily explore as bunnies do. We also used a large portion of the yard straw to bed my hens for the winter (we had been using sand this summer), and both kids enjoyed spreading bedding around in the coop as the hens inspected behind them, unhappy with the changes.

If there is one sight every momma loves, it is that of your small boy doing yard work, and doing it well. Watching him dump that full wheelbarrow on the compost pile and wheel it back across the yard was sweet. I can’t wait for those meaty muscles to get big enough to cut the grass! Man, was I feeling loved.

As I gazed around my backyard, which is 1/3 of our .22 acre plot (so not huge, but not tiny), the thought that this was easily my favorite spot in Maryland sank deeply and firmly in my heart. How much better our yard looks with actual grass now. How neat and country-urban our chicken run and mini-barn. How perfectly set up our rabbit hutches and play areas, I thought. We are getting to be such good bunny owners! I loved being surrounded by all those little creatures, each contributing to our lives in their own small way. I loved our comfy leaf covered deck, and appreciated that each toy we had outside was stowed away in the toy box, not scattered around the yard. Look at us, I wanted to say, we’re getting better! We’re nearly almost organized. And the house is tidy-ish for the second week in a row.

I asked Captain Schenanigans if he, too, felt like stepping through our 6 ft privacy fence from the front yard to the back yard was like entering into our own little secret barnyard garden. He explained that while he failed to contain those feelings himself, he appreciated them in me. Good enough. With all the mess from backyard summer chaos cleaned up stored away for the pending winter (picnic tables, riding toys, etc.), and all the animals set up for the colder weather, our shaggy landscape looked fresh, green, and healthy. I took a moment to pat myself on the back with contentment. I briefly entertained the notion that perhaps we are no longer just the crazy redneck family on the block. Happy, friendly, and not in the least bit fashionable. Maybe we’re a scoooooch closer to sleek, and a smidgen further away from ruckus.

Then Neighborfriend came over. Neighborfriend is Girlchild’s buddy who lives across a side road from us, in the ONLY house in the neighborhood that has a full view of what happens in our backyard at all times. I have many questions on my mind for Neighborfriend’s family about what they’ve witnessed, but will never ask them. For example, exactly which jammies have you seen me wearing to run out to let the chickens out in the morning? And do you see me every morning, or almost never? Have you ever seen anything butchered? According to what you see, does Manchild always go inside to use the bathroom?

Anyway, Neighborfriend is very shy, very sweet, and the easiest child to ever have in your home. I love when Neighborfriend comes to play. We hosted her for dinner Friday night, and this very shy girl was finally almost chatty with us. I loved it! After 2 years of living here, we were less strange and more familiar to her. Score one for the Schenanigans Family for being almost normal to the neighbors. Despite a stray chicken or two.

Then, like a streaker from the 1970’s, out of nowhere came a wet, nekkid, pale white Manchild,  tearing through the house wearing nothing but my can of Diet Dr. Pepper in his left hand. Darn it!!!  Fresh from his bath and full of bravado, our slippery last born did a full circle of of the house before being banished to his room to clothe himself. Neighborfriend was still standing in the foyer, in front of the closed front door, silently contemplating her options. Good gravy, I thought, we just got her to thinking we were normal despite our livestock!

Oh well, and such is life. Just when you think you might be more than you are, or should be, or ought to be, a small naked boy blasting past like an arctic wind is enough of a reminder to just be who you are. And hope for the best. Neighborfriend has a little brother too, and while it is seriously difficult to read people who don’t talk, the fact that she keeps agreeing to come over must mean she likes something about us. I sure like a lot of things about us! I just think we’d blend in a bit more seamlessly into a country setting, per se, than Baltimore. But hey, I’m all for blooming where I’m planted. Even if I’m the bright yellow dandelion in a garden full of rare orchids. At least I’ll come back every year! 🙂





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