Currently listening to “Book of Days” by David Arkenstone & Kathleen Fisher.
This picture pretty much sums up my attempt at blogging yesterday. It also is, more or less, what I met when stepping out the door this morning. My life is never dull, that’s for sure.
I live on a small farm outside of Austin, TX. It’s the same piece of property that my family has lived on for the past 60 or so years, a place that is very near and dear to my heart, but somewhere in the mix of rushing to and from work (which is an hour away thanks to traffic) and my obsession with electronics (I have been having way too much fun with my MMOs and screen capture software as of late), I sometimes forget what a blessing (and endless source of entertainment) my rural life is.
There is only a small pasture that separates my house from my grandparents’ house, and because we are usually too busy to mow the acre or so of yard space around our house (the rest of the land is intended for pastureland), we usually end up bringing their cows and donkeys into the yard to do the job for us. Which would be fine, except that the rest of my family has taken great pleasure in regularly feeding the creatures treats, making them as much of a nuisance as an asset.
To add to the excitement of it all, recently one of our cats (the only one of three that was indoor-outdoor; the other two have been indoor all their lives) got injured in a fight with another cat, which has resulted in permanent house arrest (long story) and the “cone of shame,” much to his chagrin.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been very tired recently (part of the reason I couldn’t come up with anything to write yesterday), and today has been no exception. I dragged myself out of bed late this morning and spent a good portion of my time wandering around the house in a zombie-like daze trying to remember what it was I was supposed to be doing. (I am not, in any sense of the word, a “morning person”). By the time I did wake up enough to actually be coherent, it was almost time to leave for work.
I quickly threw some food into my lunchbox, gathered up my things, and headed for the front door when I noticed a little black shadow leering just behind the coffee table. It was our injured cat, Pepe, who decided early on in his recovery that he was through with house life and has been trying to make a break for the great outdoors ever since, cone-of-shame or no. This morning was no exception, and I could tell, judging by the look on that face peering at me from inside the reflector-rimmed, black fabric cone, that if I so much as cracked that door, he was going to make a run for it.
I was already running late by this point and definitely didn’t have time to try to herd a cat around our expansive yard, so I abandoned the idea of leaving the easy way, grabbed up my belongings and shoes, and hauled everything into the laundry room. It’s a slightly longer walk from that side of the house, but at least there’s an extra door on that end that separates the yard from the plotting inmate.
With the laundry room door closed and Pepe no longer a concern, I slipped on my boots, picked my stuff up again, and opened the door. It took about two seconds for a nearby cow to realize there was someone at the “treat door,” and the next thing I knew, not only was I balancing my belongings and trying to lock the door, but I was also trying to keep livestock out of the laundry room at the same time.
“No cows in the laundry room,” I scolded as I turned to head toward the car.
Then came the bleating of the goats nearby, who are also beggars in their own right, and by the time I had driven down to the end of the drive, opened the gate, parked on the other side, and closed the gate again, I couldn’t help but stop and laugh for a minute. What a way to start my day.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite sets of books – or, rather, audiobooks, because as we have previously established, I was not much of a reader as a kid – was the All Creatures Great and Small set written by British author James Herriot. Herriot had a way of making veterinary work and farm life seem infinitely entertaining, and I think I’m really beginning to appreciate that outlook on life now.
I’ve written before about how life seems different depending on how you look at it. I think I had forgotten this somewhere along the way between my first years in college and now, but as I was dodging animals this morning, I began to realize that part of the reason I had forgotten how to find the humorous side of life was because I was taking the little things for granted. Yeah, it’s a pain to dodge escapee cats and greedy livestock, but I don’t think I would want to live any other way. And if I can just keep thinking that way, I am sure there will always be a funny story to tell at the end of the day.