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Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Good Life

Spring has apparently decided to stick around for awhile finally. We are leaving our windows open at night as the temps are now staying well above freezing. Late last night as I was brushing my teeth in the darkness of our master bathroom I felt the cool night breeze gently drifting in, and I smelled the scent of damp woods and night air. It's a combination of scents that always remind me of camping. I peeked out the window and saw the moon, a large waxing gibbous, lighting up the pond and the woods behind it. The tree frogs were chirping rhythmically. My current theory is that they never sleep. However, the Spring Peepers seem to be taking a break from their shrill calls that we've heard for the past three months. Last night I heard a different variety that I've not yet identified. I imagine it is the same variety that wanders up to the house lately and hangs out on one of the external brick windowsills. It was a peaceful sound, not obnoxious like the summer nights become when all the bugs come alive and scream all night long, "We're bugs! We're bugs!" Their noise seems deafening if you quiet yourself long enough to really listen.

As I crawled under the flannel quilt on our king size log bed next to my snoring husband, I felt content with this life in the country. I remembered a few days ago when it was still cold and rainy and I was stuck inside with the wee ones all day long. We were playing hide-and-seek around the house. I was hiding and the kids were seeking. As soon as they found me, Dear Daughter excitedly told me there was a dear outside the window of my bedroom. We ran to the master bedroom and the three of us crouched silently on the floor next to the double windows to watch for as long as the deer would let us. He wandered along the edge of the woods, munching on grass, his ears and tail twitching every now and then. It had been awhile since we saw a deer in the backyard. We know they've been there, as Dear Son has found the evidence. We just haven't seen them for awhile, especially not in the middle of the day.

I was supposed to be sleeping now, but instead my mind kept wandering. This time I was thinking of the time spent mowing the lawn earlier in the day. It's the perfect time of year for mowing. It's not hot, but it's warm enough to wear shorts and feel the sun warming your skin. Dear Husband and I fought briefly over who was going to mow and who was going to supervise the wee ones. We both ended up getting a turn in the end. As I created row after row of neat diagonals along the acre or so on the south side of the house, Husband stepped out of the house and began to smile. Thinking he looked as if he had something to tell me, I drove towards him. I figured he was going to offer his typical advice on how to do it "right." Instead, he leaned down to my ear and said, "What's gotten into you? You're actually mowing straight lines." As I returned to the task, I passed the pear tree that I hit with the mower last year the first time I tried to drive it. "I must be getting good at this," I thought to myself. Especially if Husband has no further advice to offer me and even admires my work.

It's quiet out here. We do silly things like catch tadpoles and pet tree frogs. I have fun making patterns in the grass with the lawn mower and revving up the chain saw. We build bonfires in the backyard and roast marshmallows. We drive Grandpa's 1967 Chevy pickup around the acreage to haul wood. The kids have fun bouncing around the seat as we lurch and whine along in the low gears (it's got a four speed manual transmission). I look at my little girl grinning and bouncing next to me, and I think of when I was her age riding in the same pickup with Grandpa as we bounced around his farm over three decades ago.

It's a great life. In fact, I think it doesn't get much better than this.


Ed (zoesdad) said...

I don't see how it could get better. You've painted a fantastic picture of an enviable life.

Anonymous said...

now you know why I said the only way I will leave is covered.
I love my home in the country!!
I enjoy reading your stories and keeping up with the kids!!

Maternal Mirth said...

Sure, rub it in whilst I suffer in the urban hell that is LA...

MGM said...

Denise, always glad to know when you've stopped in for a read!

Maternal Mirth, you do know there is still room to live back here in the Midwest, right? You can always come back. Don't forget..."You can take the girl out of the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the girl" or something like that, anyway. I remember you used to live in Illinois, so unless it was Chicago, you must have tasted a little country in your past. No?

Maternal Mirth said...

It was Chicago ... I am Midwest, but not *that* Midwest. :)

MGM said...

Maternal Mirth,
Hmmmm. Yeah. Okay. I wondered. I kinda had a hard time seeing you as a country girl. :) Chicago and Midwest seem like oxymorons to me.

wacquiejacquie said...

MGM & Maternal Mirth,

Defnitely have an oxymoron working with Chicago and the Midwest. I grew up in Iowa and have lived in the lovely suburbs of Chicago for 15 plus years.

The funniest thing? I dread driving in Des Moines more than the city of Chicago. Go figure. People get all freaked out about coming out to visit hello? Yeah, you aren't actually going INTO Chicago. If it's clear you can see the Sears Tower from out here. The biggest difference between Chicago and Des Moines? Traffic. For the love of everything holy...traffic. I'm happy to be done working! LOL

There you have my 2 cents.