Shirley, my walking partner turned house sitter, reported all went well at the Prairie house while we were away. She had only one scare when she feared Jack, the cat, had expired on the sofa.
From the front porch I studied the lake and the fields and deer grazing along the tree line.
Sam said the Saints game would be over in 5 minutes 29 seconds and then we could go for a bike ride but I'd been around that block before and I knew that a televised game of 5 minutes would be at least another 30 so I headed out to the lake.
A convergence of events deserves consideration. The kind that causes one to say, "What a small, connected world we live in."
I'd been looking around the yard trying to figure out what could be edible when I noticed the persimmon trees. The trees were obvious by the huddles of deer that gathered under them, not to mention possums, raccoons, coyotes and birds.
It was garbage day when Sam said, "I may not put the garbage out today; there's only one bag."
"When did eating naturally become alternative?" It was a weekend to rest and study homesteading arts in a place not unlike the Prairie house only I would not do laundry or cook or even make my bed. I left my laptop and chose instead to take a notebook and a pen.
"Have you noticed the yellow butterflies?" he said.
Ten-year-old Moriah Carpenter was outside playing with Mikaela, Gabriel and Nate, three of her six siblings, when her hand brushed a tree. Instantly she felt an intense, stinging pain. Her mother, Dawn, soothed the child and doctored the sting as any mother would do.
The calendar says autumn is a week away and golden brown leaves are beginning to fall. Felder Rushing says it is not fall but only drought causing the leaves to flutter. Sam and I talk about the benefits of each season and how fast they pass these days.
Ah, back in the Prairie where the hornworm thrives. After trying to grow tomatoes in the greenhouse where the whiteflies were as thick as thieves, I gave up. I tried every means of extermination and nothing worked. So this year I purchased two large planters with a water reservoir.
The ladies and I were sitting in the sunroom as each of us was asked to name something we were thankful for. I said, "Today I saw a butterfly."
It was time to glean leftover hay and stuff it in a black garbage bag. I always wear black rubber boots, summer or winter. You never know what you might encounter in the fields, and I feel safer with the rubber boots rather than, say, flip flops.
It was nightfall when I slipped to the garden to spy on the parsley. I hoped to catch the caterpillars sleeping. Their tiny heads were nodded forward; they appeared to be sleeping, as everything sleeps.
Coming in from feeding the bunnies, I found Sam doing his morning pushups. He held the pose as he watched me lie on the floor and look up at him.
"I have some news. There are skunks under the house."
Shirley, my walking partner, and I sat on the back steps watching Sam, Charles and Ralph cut down 30-foot cedar trees close to the house.
The Prairie is not always paradise. Momma used to say, "I'm glad not everybody likes the same thing 'cause then everybody'd want my Henry." Dad wasn't named Henry, but we got the point.
From the dock the lake below was crystal clear, reminding me of those glass-bottomed boat rides of my childhood. I'm still taken with the creatures that dwell below the surface. I wish I could say, dwell harmoniously, but often it's not.
Sam asked if I wanted to go on vacation anytime soon, and I said that I'd rather wait 'til fall when things cool off; besides, it's hard to imagine any place better than this "recreational paradise" I live in.
If ever I felt like Mother Goose, it was that day. A duck was tucked against my chest; my arms were wrapped tightly around her. I wanted her to feel the beating of my heart. I whispered to her, "You're OK."
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