Saturday, March 10, 2007

Line in the Sand

So my oldest son's girlfriend lives with us. Italo is 21 and Sarah is 19 so it works for me. She's a good gal and a great influence on my daughter Madeleina, who's nine--going on 36--but who needs female influence. Madeleina's mom, my wife/ex-wife (separated 9 years, not divorced because we can't agree on me having sole custody of Madeleina, and I am not going to put my kids on the stand and ask them to talk bad about their mom, who is sometimes fantastic, sometimes a rotten egg, but always smart and funny, except to me) lives just down the road a couple of miles, and Madeleina stays with her a couple of days a week, but truth is Madeleina lives with me and my son Italo and Sarah and so Sarah is a great influence. Smart, hep, girly but still a tomboy, it's the kind of day-to-day influence a little girl needs to get comfortable in her skin.
So four or five days ago Sarah, who helps around the house but is anything but a nosy nanny, gets it in her head that the two feet by twenty feet of dirt in front of our front porch but behind the walkway to the big (couple of acres) yard is a mess and needs fixing up. She was right, of course. Our house is maybe 5 feet below the road, which is forty feet in front of it. So when it rains the rain collects directly in front of our porch and kills everything, leaving the two foot patch a stinking mess.
So the other day Sarah spends a couple of hundred bucks and buys maybe four bushes and 20 annuals (mostly daffodils) and a couple hundred pounds of outdoor potting soil and has me soak the clay and then mix the potting soil with the clay there and then goes and does this gorgeous job of planting those flowers like a $300-buck-an-hour landscape artist and the next thing you know that little patch of nothing is the brightest spot in Johnson County, Texas. I mean, I was just flat out thrilled. And then, to top it off, she bought a couple of hanging basket flower pots full of gorgeous stuff and swears she'll take care of it.
I had to ask Italo if Sarah was pregnant. Know what I mean, right? This is nesting stuff and I don't mind being a grandpa but I figure he should let me have a couple more of mine before I get to be grandpa, more or less.
She's not.
So the next day, Sarah says she's passed a nearby farm that has some baby goats for sale and would I buy one.
After the work she did, how could I say no?
We bought three. I told her to name two and just call the other one meat, so that when I barbeque it we'll be saying: "Meat's good," rather than "Little Babykins' leg is so tasty," which would be unacceptable. I got punched three times in the upper arm, really hard, for that one.
Then Sarah realized that the last two feet of the little garden she'd planted, the part in front of the porch that sort of matches the steps but is past the porch fence, was kind of open. So she asked me to buy her a rock to put there.
So I went and bought a 438 pound rock and me and Italo and my other son, Marco, who has a broken hand in a cast, managed to put it in perfect positon.
Then Sarah realized that our little chicken coop could use some egg laying chickens and borrowed some bucks and went and bought eight little hens, a bunch of straw and some vitamins, along with a huge tank for water as we've no water line out to the chicken coop house (which is very nice, with eight little chicken bunks and a high triple-fence to keep possoms, dogs and other chicken eating animals out).
So our house has been busy and is like perfect for an 80 grand house, what with dogs, cats, lots of cardinals (not ours but they live here) and blue jays, goats, chickens and a flying squirrel (very playful, but only at night). And then this morning, just after feeding the goats and before the final placement of the rock, she suddenly says: "You know, Mister Peter, if we had a cow....."
I cut her off. "Don't think so."
"But I was thinking..."
"I know darlin. But this is what we call a line in the sand."
"What's that?"
"You know. A line you can't cross. I can't do a cow right now."
And that was it. You got to draw a line somewhere.
Not in Sarah's world.
"Okay then. I'll just get a couple of ponies. And after you get used to them you won't mind a cow at all."
Ahhhh. Ain't life grand?
I'm lucky to be living it.

1 comment:

Phoenix said...

Your email about the goats didn't sink in until I read this post. 3 goats and a rock, cool!