Saturday, March 31, 2007

Evening Constitutional

A very friendly sheep, originally uploaded by nrbp.

It is Spring now: time to ease into all this daylight, shed our winter coats (I'm looking at you 3 cats who are covering every surface of my house with your fur), break out the allergy medicine, tune up the mower, put air in the tires on all of our bikes, turn over the dirt in the garden space, take leisurely walks at the end of the day.

Sometimes we'll drive down to the fish hatchery or to the river, on a rare summer evening we might make it all the way out to the beach, sometimes we don't get any farther than the anthill in our yard. Once the weather starts to clear up, and if we aren't running up against bedtime, we try to make a habit of getting outside for a little bit right after dinner.

More often than not, we'll head down our street to the next "Not A County Road" where there's a tiny little farm (chickens, friendly sheep, a couple of disinterested horses, a few cats and dogs). The children are learning that they have to stay close to us while we are on the main road (sidewalks? or even much of a shoulder? out here?), but once we've turned off of it, they're free to run ahead. They love feeding the very friendly sheep. The horses, however, are not swayed by promises of greener grass from the other side--which hasn't stopped us from trying to make friends. It's slow going sometimes: we have to stop to look at flowers, pick up bugs, poke sticks in slimy mud, point out our barn, our house, our cars parked in our yard just two houses over; we don't always make it to the top of the hill where there is a view of the river.

There are times when I wish we were raising our children in a big city--or even a small city, at that--because of the stuff urban areas have that we do not. The French immersion schools and the art museums and the Trader Joe's. Then there are times like the afternoon recently when a fellow showed up at our back door asking if we might be interested in selling some of the land we've got (about 3 acres, and I didn't mention that we don't own the place). He acted like it was foolishness to have all this space--to want to have all this space--around us. Times when what we have here is just perfect, just what we need, just what we couldn't do without.

More pictures over on Flickr.

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