Monday, August 4, 2014

An Odd Thing

I live on a farm, and I've had all sorts of odd experiences.  Like having to drag my groceries on a sled through three foot deep snow to get from the car to the house.  Like watching a spider cricket grow to maturity in the utility sink, because he was stuck there and I knew that if I tried to free him, he'd just crawl up my arm.  Like searching for a walking stick that can double as a web-wand.

We can also include under "Odd Experiences" the time I ran out of my house barefoot to rescue a chicken from a fox, then chasing that fox into the woods, and finally administering first aid to the chicken.  Or, the time when the sump pump backed up due to ice, and I got to spend several hours wading in my own basement when I wasn't crawling under the front porch, armed with a hairdryer and a few buckets of hot water.

I hardly think about the odd things I do on a daily basis now.  I stepped into the shower the other day, and saw a spider on the inside of the plastic shower curtain.  I was already wet, and I didn't want to call for assistance, so I just gathered the folds between my hands and slammed them together, effectively squishing the spider.  I then took my shower.

This morning, I reached into the trash can to rescue the toast crusts that the Boy had accidentally thrown away:  the chickens love cinnamon toast crusts.

However, something happened last week that has captured my imagination.

One of my best friends came for the week, a last-minute trip that was so great.  She and I did some of the things that I have been meaning to do for a long time, but never got around to doing:  visiting the local distillery for the tour and tasting; hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail; and getting out on Friday night to hit the local First Friday event.

We also spent hours talking and laughing, enjoying wine every evening.  I gave my usual tour of the farmhouse, pointing out all the charming details (moss from the 1700s, ax marks in the log walls, adorable kitchen) and the places to watch out for (sloping floors, odd steps up or down, low ceilings). Of course, I also showed her around the farm and entertained her with all the adorably odd habits I've picked up here.

Her favorite was my web-wand.  We went on a walk of the fields, munching on the occasional blackberries, letting the Boy pick our route, so he could show us the new paths he mowed with his father.  (And they are hilarious.  Period.  Curves and twists...if I hadn't known that the Boy had done them, I would have thought that his father had been doing something with the weeds other than mowing them.)  Anyhow, my friend was giggling over my web-wand, and had already pictured Lockhart before I explained it.

Moments, later, however, we came upon the really odd thing.

We have rain and storms often enough, and we come across fallen branches and other assorted storm debris.  But this evening, in middle of the path, we found this nest.

It looked undisturbed.  There were no obvious nesting branches overhead.  No sign of a distressed mama bird.  Just a nest full of cloth fibers and a perfect egg.  Google failed us when we tried to identify it, although the closest match was a bird species so common I've already forgotten its name.

Who knows how it happened?  We'll never know, but for once, something odd enough happened that I actually recognized that it was odd.  And it made me think about how many things I have come to accept as just part of my day, that had once seemed so extraordinary.

So, I will go back to waving my web-wand and eating fruit right off the bushes, tormenting the local foxes and feeding my chickens slightly-rotten but organic cucumbers and tomatoes along with their favorite cinnamon toast crusts.  And I will look at it all and giggle at how far the City Kitty has come.

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