Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Great Outdoors

The other day I was feeling very happy housewifey, so I went outside to pick some flowers to put in a vase and set on the table for my husband when he came home from lunch. So Faith and I went outside and retrieved our rose-like flowers, hers without thorns of course, and the sun was shining on us as we started walking back and then I took a look down at my charming little bouquet and saw a big brown spider crawling frantically over the petals. I screamed, threw them down and then stared in horror as black mini-slug like creatures scattered all over the asphalt. Faith asked, “Are you scared, Mommy? Don’t be afraid,” and I assured her I was not scared, merely disgusted and took her flower and looked inside, and yes, more of the nasty black whatever-they-are bugs.

Needless to say, I am still adjusting to this country life. I am enchanted by all of the flora and fauna that surrounds me, yet need to remember that I don’t live in a giant flower shop and that there are indeed little nasties that live in the plants. I’ve had to learn the hard way to look for the telltale shimmer of a spider web before walking between two trees. I know now to pay attention to any faint movement out of the corner of my eye, since it could be a fly or spider or some mysterious mountain bug lurking and waiting to jump on me.

Although I do still find myself delighted whenever we come across some animal out here. Right next to us is the long driveway that leads to my in-laws’ house and we walk up it almost every day. We nearly always see rabbits on it and last week saw several deer cross our path, then watched them as they watched us. I found a snake out there when walking with the kids. We see groundhogs bounding across the fields. Now that I’m growing a garden, however, I find that these creatures are not always welcome. Also, I’ve discovered that while it is still a novelty for me to see all these forest creatures roaming about not everyone takes the same views I do. For instance a neighbor and distant cousin of my husband (cue banjo music) set out rabbit boxes. “For what?” I asked. My father-in-law slowly informed me that it was to raise them, and then belatedly added that they were also to be used to train dogs. Part of my brain clicked. Oh. For dogs. To kill them.

Then there was the day when my husband was riding his motorcycle home and a cardinal flew into him, killing itself and scaring my husband out of his mind. If one is supposed to make a wish every time they see one of those red birds, what does it mean when you kill one?

I’m still waiting to wake up in the mornings and have the bluebirds fly in my window to set my robe on my shoulders and have the field mice make my breakfast. What? You mean fairytales can’t come true?

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