The Simple Country Life

The Head Girl is away at school. Equuschick and the Headmaster are both away at work. JennyAnyDots is away providing childcare for a homeschooling family. That leaves me and Pipsqueak to take care of the homestead and the three ‘youngest’ children. The Cherub is developmentally about 2. I am trying to finish up some work on lesson plans- work hindered by the fact that we don’t have a functional printer, and I am having trouble saving documents to a disc I can take to Granny Tea’s and print out there (this project has failed some two dozen times thus far).

The bush-hoggers came today. Twice a year we pay these very nice people to come mow our pasture- it’s too much for the riding mower, and their rates are very affordable.

The pasture is divided into three sections, and Pipsqueak has to rotate the horses through them while the nice bush-hoggers do their work. She runs in and out all morning turning the hot wire on in this pasture and off in the next one, moving the two horses over (the third horse is in the round pen today).

So Pip was on her way out to do more livesthock shifting, and the youngest two were going out to check for eggs (our hens are free range at the moment), when I hear a bit of commotion and the FYB comes running in and shouts, “CAll 911! Somebody just drove off the road and had a wreck right in our pasture!” So I called 911, calling the FYB in at the same time since I don’t want him traumatized by looking at what might be a fatality- and then started asking questions- the car flipped? No. Anybody hurt? We don’t think so. Pip reported back that the driver was out, scratching his head and looking at his vehicle. FYB reported back that he was calling his dad. So I told 911 we probably just needed a police officer after all, and I put on my shoes, got out of my robe and into street clothes, and took the kidlets out to look.

We live on a fairly sharp curve in the road. The littlest two children (and their father) think I’m a bit of a nervous nelly because I won’t let them play at the edge of one of the pastures just where the curve in the road straightens out, or indeed, anywhere within about 20 feet of the road. The driver had taken that curve fairly fast, based on the tracks in the road and pasture, and didn’t come out of the curve in time. Had the youngsters been playing there this post would have been impossible to write. Let’s not think about it.

By then the kid’s dad arrived. Turns out they are the problem neighbors a mile or so up the road- the wind blows their trash into our woods- trash like microwave ovens, old car doors they use for target practice, etc. They also build deer blinds at the very edge of our property looking into our property. We suspect they are poachers who left a deer carcass in our woods last year. They are the neighbors who have wild parties at night, and who have had emergency vehicles out to their property responding to drug overdoses before.

They would like to leave before the police get there, but there we are, witnesses all, and I point out that the horses are in that pasture, and we need them not to be able to walk out onto the road. They say they’ll stay and fix the fence.

The police come, and Dad says something quietly to his 20 year old son. Son looks upset and says no. Dad says “I’ll take care of it.” The police officer asks if I’m okay so long as they fix the fence. I say yes. He asks the father and son something about how the accident happened. The father, behaving in a manner I would classify as oily and shifty even if I didn’t already know who he is, takes the officer out of earshot, over by the wrecked vehicle, and talks to him a moment or two. I don’t hear it, but I am fairly certain that he has just lied and told the police officer that he was driving the wrecked car. I don’t know what I should do about that (I called The Headmaster later, and now it’s his problem) since I did not actually see the kid driving, so my best witnesses are my 14 and 9 y.o. children (I later learned the bush-hogger had gone up and talked to the kid about it before his dad got there).

I stand around and watch them work on the fence. He sends his son home for more hot-wire. He tells me, in this order, that:
1. His son was going too fast yesterday and hit a stop sign.
2. He and his son have been in several accidents (he’s not taking the boy to the doctor, and since the kid broke a window with his elbow I think he ought to go. The dad says no, and explains he knows he doesn’t need to because of all their experience with car wrecks).
3. The son was driving a vehicle with no speedometer, and he couldn’t judge the speed properly.
4. He was over an hour late for classes at college (the college is 45 minutes away), having overslept and
5. His son and my daughter should carpool to school together since they live so close and go to the same school on the same days of the week.

I’ll pause a moment so that those of you who know our family can stop laughing and clean up your screens. Sorry about that. Should have warned you to put that Dr. Pepper down.

Soooo, I came inside to relieve my own barely suppressed mirth, leaving Pip out in the pasture with the horses (the bush-hog man, a _nice_ family man, is bush-hogging that pasture now), and call Granny Tea and The Headmaster. G-pa stops by so he can hear the story, too. Their reaction is similar to mine. Pip comes in, saying she thinks the horses are not going to go anywhere. I noticed on my way in that the clothes on the line are blowing off, and that the cats have gotten into the outside trash again, so I send FYB out to take care of that. I try to get back to work on lesson plans for the upcoming schoolyear, but I can’t.

Odd as it will sound to some of you, we would like to reach out to these people, to be an influence for good in their lives. The woman living with them died of a drug overdose just a few months ago, and so far as we know, the son has no mother. Worse, they have no Savior. But we don’t know how to proceed. It is a puzzlement.

The man comes to the door later to tell me that the fence is fixed (I doubt it), (Equuschick says it’s actually better than before, although there’s still broken wire to clean up) and it’s now after lunch and the only thing we have accomplished is getting the pastures mowed, and all we have to do for that is write a check. I wish the rest of life were so easily handled.

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  1. Posted August 30, 2005 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Remember, you said your schedule is plan B – in case nothing else happens. Now it looks like making *up* your schedule is even plan B!
    Glad your kiddos are safe – and praying for your neighbors, however the Lord uses you to be a witness to them!
    Never a dull moment, hmmm?

  2. Posted August 30, 2005 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    he littlest two children (and their father) think I’m a bit of a nervous nelly because I won’t let them play at the edge of one of the pastures just where the curve in the road straightens out, or indeed, anywhere within about 20 feet of the road.

    I don’t. We live on a straight road, and have had a car land in our yard once (coming down a hill) and in our rear neighbor’s yard once (simply going through a 4-way stop intersection). Our yard still has horrible gashes in it to prove it, although the incident was in 2003 and the grass makes them hard to see. Next time you are in Texas, come on out to our house, and I’ll show you! I mowed over them yesterday; they have evened out somewhat, but are still difficult to get over. The neighbor’s yard was completely and utterly obliterated. Somebody’s insurance must have given them quite a payout, because they replaced the entire lawn and trees.

    Far, far better safe than sorry. :) But then, I was raised to put up impassable walls around danger so I didn’t even get near it. My father sliced off the ends of two fingers when he was about 18 simply by getting his hands near (not under) a running lawn-mower. In our family, people do not put their arms up near open car windows (let alone out them), get up next to the edge of a cliff, etc.

  3. Posted August 30, 2005 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Finishing the rest of the post and reading about the kid, I’m reminded that when I was a boy we also had a kid land in our yard and destroy a tree and a mailbox. Actually, that must have been two kids and two occasions (or maybe one kid and two occasions) because the destroyed tree and the mailbox were on opposite sides of our driveway.

    Then there’s also the fact that my brother has been hit by cars three times. Or maybe just two; I can’t remember. The first time was by a kid who is a member of the church. He wasn’t being irresponsible or anything; my brother just got out into the street. In fact, he basically ran into the truck himself rather than the other way around. (The second occasion he biked into a truck.)

    Speaking of reasons I am paranoid about children playing near traffic, I also once witnessed a man hit by a car two lanes over from myself and thrown up into the air in a beautiful parabolic arc.

    I’ll pause a moment so that those of you who know our family can stop laughing and clean up your screens. Sorry about that. Should have warned you to put that Dr. Pepper down.

    It was Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi, and point five was hilarious!

  4. Posted August 30, 2005 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    My parents have several acres, so they sometimes have their pastures bush-hogged. One year my dad paid a guy named Bo to do it, and he was very dissatisfied with the results.

    Shortly thereafter this same guy opened a restaurant in town called Bo’s Barbeque. My mom & I were speculating about whether it was any good. My dad responded with these words:

    “Bo’s barbeque’s bound to be better’n Bo’s bush-hogging.”

    To appreciate the impact of this statement, it’s necessary to understand that Dad does *not* have a sense of humor. This was not wit. The alliteration was completely unintended. Dad can’t be that funny when he’s trying.

  5. Posted August 30, 2005 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Do you know that while y’all were responding to this post, Blogger was telling me it wasn’t published yet?
    And while I obviously agree that my children do not need to be playing at the edge of the pasture, I should say, in the HM’s defense, that I *am* a nervous nelly on many other issues, and that we do live in the country. Our three mile stretch of road has three houses. There are probably ten houses within a ten mile radius of us. But still.

    And Donna-Jean, thank you so much for that very helpful reminder! Yes. Making my schedule is plan B. I really needed to be reminded of that today. REALLY.

  6. Posted August 30, 2005 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    There ya go, Mom, that would take care of my gas worries.

    [And I’ll have you know it’s horrible ot be a fast reader, have a blog post come up and have “911” and “car wreck” flash out you. Be still, my beating heart]

  7. Posted August 30, 2005 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Only to your family. Nothing is really simple is it?? May you find a safe way to reach out to your neighbors and I don’t really think that carpooling would be it. Smiles – glad I wasn’t drinking my soda when I read this one.

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