Sunday, August 5, 2012

Meeting the Neighbors.

The Pastoral Life.

When Polly and I moved to the country, a few things became necessities.  We needed fly-swatters and rat traps . . .

Not mouse traps.  Not cute little field mice.  Not the little fur-balls of soft adorability.  Rats!  Okay, rat.  But still, it jumped at her face.  Even my friend who was visiting for the weekend from Fort Benning's Airborne School was no match for this wall-climbing escape artist.

Anyway, necessities:  swatters, traps, a dog, guns, and with the move to the country, I was obliged to grow a beard.  A nice reddish Amish beard.  Polly's still working on hers.  And between borrowing my sister's dog and the scarcity of malls, walks are another necessity.

Since Polly's post yesterday showed off the house, today's rant is an introductory tale of our "neighborhood."  Or as I like to call it:  pictures taken of random things while dodging pick-up trucks and picking up stray dogs.  While manageable on their own, combining pick-ups and strays is sure to prove disastrous.  Our dog, George, is safe enough.  After all, she's safely restrained by her lovely pink leash, which it is my thrill to use (she started as Georgia . . . we got lazy).  However, Buddy and Daisy (no collar = new names!), enjoy running into traffic as much as rednecks love pretending to be NASCAR legends.

Beyond the obvious safety risk, I am ashamed to admit that my greatest anxiety is how Polly and I appear irresponsible and uneducated.  After all, when you're walking down the road with three dogs and one leash, people assume one of two things.  Either we play favorites . . . for keeps.  Or we can't count.  Our reputation was further degraded when Buddy and Daisy (those incorrigible canines) thought a running child wanted to play and plied Georgia with such peer pressure as wagging tails and sounds of the hunt.

In my account, Buddy's redeemable quality is limited to his apparent ninja skills.  After a week of Polly's doting, Buddy decided that appropriate payment would be giving her the joy of surprise.  Not surprise gifts or surprise parties, but surprise ATTACKS!  Whereas most people think of biting and mauling as an attack, Polly's standards are much lower.  To her discerning heart, an attack consists of erratic flight patterns (biggest phobia:  butterflies and ladybugs) or appearing out of nowhere (genies, wizards, and Buddy).  To me, her loving and compassionate husband, such entertaining happenings more than make up for not having cable TV.

The next introduction is our (vicariously owned) horses.  Okay, so they're not ours.  We don't even get to ride them (though Polly has aspirations).  However, we do get to feed them very excited carrots!  Or feed them carrots excitedly.  Actually that would probably spook them and get Polly trampled.  For now, we'll stick to quietly and calmly feeding them orange tubers while dreaming of moonlit rides . . . around the barn.  Ooh, romantic.

Traveling away from our farmhouse, we walked past the second best looking abode on our road.  What it lacks in structure, it makes up for in spirit.  Or was that spirits?  And were those the "boo!" kind or the brew kind?  Anyway, one man's dilapidated shack is some woman's folk art print.

Next, we have this cow.  Only in the south could you look at a cow and crave a beautifully fried, handcrafted sandwich while a Tim Hawkins' song dances to the front of your mind.

Finally, our walks usually end at the old Granville House.  For the uninitiated, instead of rubbing a lamp, Jimmy Stewart taught that breaking glass earns wishes.  Polly doesn't share his sentiment, so I'll have to earn the winning lotto numbers while she's not there.

Grace & Peace,

Tom & Polly

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