My father is an exceptional plasterer. I suppose he should be since he’s been doing it from his teen years. Even though experience says a lot, there’s a reason he’s still requested for work after 40 years of building a reputation. I explain this because we just found out he was hired to do a job in New Mexico. So with a short notice (and super-woman for a wife) his entire family was packed, kitchen and all, to hit the road for an extended out of state stay.
As I say good-bye, they’re explaining the chores that I had offered (silly me) to take care of. Just two pups, a few feathered animals and a garden. Couldn’t be that hard… right? Ha. Ha. Ha.
The first day wasn’t to bad as it was mainly just checking things out. Food, check. Water, check. Pick the garden and walk the dogs… check, check!
Ticks: Small arachnids (that I have a hard time finding a reason for their existence) that live off of the blood from mammals, birds, humans… pretty much anything that bleeds. I got my first after day one, so here’s my attire for future chores.
Day two: I remembered my cell phone today because yesterday I had left it at my Grams’s. Her mindful thoughts brought her all the way out to make sure the length of time I had been gone wasn’t due to any mishaps. (This is necessary for a story below).
First up, I fed the pups after a long walk up their country dirt road. Meet Shadow, the black dog that just appeared into the family’s yard one day and Captain, the lovable beagle my sister waited patiently to get.
The 4 legged kids are fed and happy, so now it’s on to the feathered friends. Check for eggs and make sure the feed and water is full. Easy enough…
This is the view of the main chicken yard.
I opened the wooden door to reach for the feed and walked in with confidence, chickens can smell a chicken right? Why I get goosy when a rooster heads for me, I have no idea. When I entered, like always, I lightly pulled the door behind me. Click click. It shut.. and locked. No big deal as I turned to look for the pull string that would release it from the inside. Non-existent. So there I was, trapped in a chicken coop on a hot sticky Oklahoma afternoon.
MacGyver time! Feathers? Too weak.
This metal device? Too angular.
A stick! Too large.
I could crawl through the… nope. Turns out the chicken door is smaller than the doggy door I’ve had to climb through (don’t ask).
After a solid 15 minutes of sincere efforts to make an exit, I finally decided to call upon my grandma to come let me out. Call her with the phone that I left sitting on the truck! Can you see it?!
Great, she won’t be heading this way anytime soon since yesterday she did for no reason. Especially after this mornings joke of “I’m bringing my phone this time so you don’t have to worry”!
After debating on kicking in the door or just waiting for anyone to come over, I glanced down and saw my last hope. Success!
Since I made the great escape with time to spare, I made my way to the garden for an afternoon playing in dirt. Corn, okra, tomatoes, yellow squash, 3 types of peppers and one happy camper!
I learned quickly to make sure I ate before picking veggies. 2 tomatoes in the basket and one in my belly. An okra for home and one for now (yes, I even like them raw!). Have you ever enjoyed the sweet taste of yellow sun-kissed corn right from the stalk while standing waste deep in the garden? Me neither.
Side note: If there are no chemicals that would harm these guys, there’s no chemicals to harm you. Hooray for organic gardening!
Even this mini crawler made it all the way home. “No worries little fella, I don’t blame ya… I’d live in the garden too if I was your size!”
3 things I learned about myself while taking care of my family’s property:
1. I jump just as high if a monkey were to jump on my back or if a grasshoper leaps to a leaf in front of me.
2. I don’t want to live anywhere that ticks do.
3. When I grow up and have my own place… there will be a garden.