Reasons I Don’t People

Conversations in Chewville:

(Me, talking to our closest neighbor for the first time):”I noticed your chicken coop. It’s beautiful! How many chickens do you have?”
(Her): “We had 16, but they all got killed one night and I haven’t gotten any more.”
(Me): “All of them? In one NIGHT? What on Earth happened?”
(Her): “Well, I found them all dead, so I buried 13 of them. I left the other three in the coop with a live animal trap. Sure enough, the killer came back, and we caught him. It turned out to be a weasel.”
(Me): “A WEASEL? How awful! I’m so sorry.”
(Her): “Well, it was over three years ago, but… yeah.”
(Me): “Wow, I didn’t even know we HAD weasels, here. I’m glad you told me. We’ll have to make sure the coops are secure for our chickens.”
(Her): “I’ve got it in the freezer still, if you want to see what it looks like.”

(Pause, as I let this sink in… this woman has kept a dead weasel in her freezer, for over three years. What in the living…)

(Her): “Anyway, I just thought I’d stop by. It’s nice to have neighbors, again.”

(Another awkward pause…Chew’s mother has lived here for about 30 years. Not sure what the ‘again’ refers to.)

(Me): “Well… um… I’m glad you stopped by. It’s nice to meet you.”
(Her): “It was Max’s idea, really. I never would have bothered you. I know you’re busy.”
(Me): “Oh, is Max your husband?”
(Her): “No… Max is my dog.”

(Another awkward pause, as I ponder an advice-giving canine.)

This is why I fail at people-ing.

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The Great Plagues of Autumn

IMG_3991                                          Yes, I know… it’s been a while since our last post.
I’d blame the Holidays or something, but I feel that we know each other well enough for me to tell you the truth.

We were hit by plagues.

Two of them.

When we lived at old Chewville, we talked about how things would be when we got our own land.

“We’ll have lots of fruit trees and nut trees,” we would say, “And they will shade us from the hot summer sun, and give us beautiful colors in the fall.”

Sure enough, the new Chewville has LOTS of trees. The trees DID shade us all summer, and the leaves WERE beautiful in the Fall…

For two weeks.

Then, they dropped those beautiful leaves in the yard. Daily. Millions of leaves. KNEE-FLIPPIN’-DEEP leaves.

We tried raking. We tried leafblowers. We tried mowing them into mulch. Every time we got them (almost) under control, another autumn breeze would shower us with another blanket of bronze and rust colored foliage.

It wasn’t just the lawn, either. Leaves jammed the gutters. They filled the birdbaths. They wrapped themselves around the windshield wipers of our car, and hitched rides on our shoes and jackets to scatter themselves around our house.

Of course, trees only hold so many leaves. Eventually, the last of them fell, and Chew and I tackled the knee-deep carpet of foliage with a vengeance. After NINE HOURS of combined raking, blowing, hand-plucking, and burning, the leaves were gone.

We slept well, that night. We didn’t even wake up when the wind began to howl, bringing in the second plague.

Corn husks.

It seems that, when your house is surrounded on all four sides by cornfields, the husks decide to converge in your yard.

They buried my herb gardens, tangled in our bushes, flooded the freshly-cleaned gutters, and dangled from tree branches.

As Chew and I worked at cleaning up the husks, we made an agreement: The first person to comment, “aren’t the leaves beautiful?” next Autumn gets socked right in the mouth.