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There have always been some things that bother me about our location. One of the chief ones being that we live next to a lovely piece of land that needs looking after. When I first saw our house, next door was an extremely run down and scary house. When we finally bought our house three years later, new owners had torn it down and seemed to have plans for the now empty field. They had begun building a fence, which was very nice, but seemed to have been abandoned. The 4x4s tilting crazily in their ill-dug holes, the pile of lumber growing weeds, and the old sacks of hardened quickrete loosely covered by a tarp had remained untouched since we moved in eight months ago. The abandoned car growing moss and poison-ivy from its hood parked near the pond bog, and the fact that the property has never been mowed, gave me the impression that its owners cared very little for their new purchase.
We had never met the owner of the land, he lived in a house he built on other land nearby, but we had met one of his brothers who often came to camp in the back acerage. We discovered while hiking around the land (the plot is some 60 acres) the most beautiful building site. I would love to move our house there some day, but some people think I am crazy.
Anyway. The pile of lumber and the bags of concrete mix bugged me immensely. They are right next to my house, and since the tarp on the bags was removed or blew away sometime this winter, the bags have begun to look like trash piled up in my lovely view. This is not even to mention the horrible bog or the nasty car, or the weeds. As I have begun going outside more and making plans to improve our land, I had become, well, mad. One day, as I was walking around the bog (it is a large hole very near my house which sets at the very edge of our land, filled with scummy, smelly, foul water) someone (who will remain nameless) suggested that I kick the bags of quickrete into the bog. He was just joking, and I laughed at this idea. Until a few days later when I was again looking at the mess.
All the sudden, something overtook me, and I rushed over to the pile and kicked. Hard. One of the bags fell nicely into the water, almost being submerged. The next bag (they weighed around 60 pounds) was harder, and barely made it over the edge. I had to pick the last bag up and try to heave it, but it wouldn’t go farther than the tangle of weeds on the “bank”. I felt satisfied, however, because I could no longer see the mess.
I did not tell anyone what I had done. A week went by. Then it began to get very nice outside, and one day I saw a bunch of people drive into the property. This worried me. Having become more rational since the incident, I now realized that no one would think that three 60 pound bags of concrete would “fall” into a hole 3 feet away. And the evidence was still there- if you looked into the pond, you could see all three bags. Hmmm. So late that night, I confessed my deed to E. He could not believe what I had done. In a horrified voice, he informed me that he knew from the brother, that the owner LOVED the pond and had big plans for it. The same owner who was camping that very night a mere few acres away from the crime scene. He became very quiet suddenly, and the full weight of what I had done crashed down on me. WHAT had I been thinking? How would I explain myself? I did not even know these people- I was terrified. I wanted to go back in time, but there was no way to undo the deed. I had nothing to say for myself, and guiltily tried to sleep. All night I had nightmares, and tried to think of what I could possibly do before the morning, when, surely (if I had not already been noticed) the owners would stroll over to see their beautiful pond, and see three bags of concrete- not where they were when they left them.
Well, before it was even fully light, I persuaded E. to go to the pond with me and see what could be done. I crawled down into the stinky nastiness, and heaved the closest bag up to him to put in the dumpster. The others were too far in the water, so I retrieved the floating bag paper, and kicked them under the water as much as possible. Good thing too, since later that day, I met the nice guy who owned the land and loved the bog. To my chagrin, we did discuss the pond. He did not take to my idea of dumping gallons of bleach into the water to kill the mosquitoes, confirming E.’s suspicions of fond feeling for the awful place. Luckily we were not standing that close to the said area, for the conversation got around to the fact that sometimes it did dry out. I can only hope that does happen, and that I notice it first, and can get the remaining bags out before he builds a swing nearby or something!

Well, spring has come to the country. I never knew the true meaning of the word fresh until now. The air here smells of dirt, faint flowers, and dampness. I have all the windows open to get as much into my stuffy, woodsmoky house as possible. The wind is so alive. It rushes around the trees, and roars down the hollars (yes, I said hollars-I think I am using it correctly, as in the wind hollars down the hollars, but if you asked me to point out a hollar, I would have difficulty and hope it meant a ravine). It tumbles all the good earth smells about and tells me things. It told me last week to plow up a garden. I saw that others understood this message as well, for it seems everyone has new dark brown soil uncovered- just waiting for small green shoots. How different it will look here when it is brown and dry, but for now all is in contrast. The vibrant green grass, the rich new turned-up soil, and the hints of color on all the trees. My cherry trees stopped hinting yesterday, though. They are bursting out with flowers that surprised me and made me glad I did not go through with my plan for cutting them down last fall.

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The frogs have been my biggest surprise this spring, however. We have a pond (read small mosquito-breeding bog) right next to our house on our neighbor’s land that has a great many frogs as its inhabitants. In the summer they croak and bellow, a nice comfortable sound. Last week, however, as I was painting my cabinet doors, I heard the most annoying sound. I thought it was someone’s home alarm. I hoped it would stop when the person got home. But as the hours went on, I determined it unlikely. Either the said person was lying dead on the floor, or it was something else. When E. got home and said how much he enjoyed the frogs sounds this spring, I just nodded and agreed. So it was frogs, silly me!

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After I heard the call of the wind to get farmin’, I met a new neighbor who said he would plow up my plot. He is wonderful. I met him and his wife, Ida May, and their 60 year old son one afternoon at lunch. Having been directed to him by another neighbor, I interrupted their lunch (of meatloaf, corn, beans, cornbread, and apples- for lunch!) and got to know them. He went to school in my house, and knows every inch of the land here ’bouts. He agreed to come take a look, and one night, he brought his wife and a pick-axe to test out my soil. He was very against the idea of putting my garden in the convenient, flat, open place I had picked and felt it would be better to plant down near the barn. The fact that no hose would reach this far, (and come July, I would not either) did not deter him from his opinion. So with much grumbling and under-his-breath comments like “Well, you won’t grow nothin here” or “Ain’t good ground” he plowed it up for me. I guess being a farmer, he has never tried to grow anything in a new subdivision, and although he might be right about the other land being better, I am sure I can do alright.

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Well, more needs to be said about the wonders of the country and spring, etc, but it has been a long day. I need to lay down, finish my beer, and hope I don’t lose this post while I am putting the pictures up.

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So last week I had this really great post and then lost it in the netherworld of unsavedness. It took me a while to get over the loss, but I never stop thinking. In fact, all this time I have not been writing, I have been thinking. Many times the topics have been too boring to write about (should I paint the cabinet doors inside and have them spread out all over my house, or should I do it outside and risk the bugs drying on them and the cats leaving butt prints?) or too personal for the masses. Oh yes, masses. Check out my stats. I am famous. Either that or all six people who read this have checked my post 121.6 times each.

Anyway. Tonight I had a thought that I will share. Actually, it was not my thought, but then I did think about it, so it kind of became my thought too. I listened to a talk by Kay Arthur, and she was teaching on Titus. She mentioned the idea that many times we lose site of the fact that all of our actions have future consequences. Ok, so that does not sound profound when I actually write it out, but stay with me. I began to think about what specifically I was sowing in my life- in individual relationships and decisions, not just in my life in general. I thought about my girls, my husband, by health, etc. Now I do try to think about this regularly, but in some areas it is just too hard. I don’t really want to- like in how forgiving I am, or how much ice-cream I eat. But tonight I imagined the future- here on Earth , not just in heaven. When I am 63, what kind of house will I have built for myself? Proverbs says a wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down. Which am I?

I just thought all 6 of you could use a friendly reminder that we will all someday reap what we have sown. I want pineapples not poison ivy. How about you?