Today I set off with three of our children and our three dogs for a forced march. I say, 'forced march' because sometimes it isn't a choice, it is a necessity! You see, our new puppy decided today would be a good day to be... a puppy on steroids! In the space of a very short time, he had brought in; a shoe, a paper plate, my daughter's flip flop, eaten the cat food, and decided that the stuffing from our couch would make a good chew toy. I must, at this point, let you know that he is actually a very good boy, but every so often in his short 6 months of life he has 'one of those days' and today was just that.
After removing some foreign object from his mouth for the umpteenth time I decided it was time to hit the road. So that is what we did. Thankfully spring seems to have sprung here and it was actually a beautiful day, even the children didn't seem to mind a longer than usual walk, in the hopes of tiring the pup out.
I've been reminiscing recently about the British countryside in all of its luscious, green glory. Dreaming of days spent in the Lake District, walks along Whitley Bay beach, and sitting with my parents with a cuppa, and a good piece of English chocolate in tow. I recently read an article on '88 very British phrases that will confuse anybody who didn't grow up in the UK'. The children and I had a laugh as they tried to make head nor tail of what was being said. Some, of course, they knew because..... well there are just some phrases I haven't dropped since moving here. It was quite unusual reading through the list realizing how much I have become steeped in American culture, and forgotten some key phrases that I once would have used regularly. Sometimes I find myself asking my husband how to pronounce a word and whether the Brits say it this way or that. I guess that is what you get when you have lived somewhere other than your native land for 20+ years.
Today was one of those days when melancholy tries to take over, but as we went for a walk up the road, and came to the point (up the hill) where I stop to admire the view, (or maybe if I'm being honest, stop to catch my breath), I was reminded again of how much I love where we live. The once snow browned grass is beginning to turn a rich green color, the peepers and birds were singing, and frogs were to be found in the side puddles in the ditches, (I know this because my children love to find the poor things each day we go for a walk). I get to embrace this life we have chosen, one of hard work, joys and disappointments,... or it gets to overtake me. Some days the sun seems to shine brighter and other days the clouds seem low in the sky. Some days the farm life is joyous as new babies are born, and the animals cooped up for the winter are finally let out to kick their heals and enjoy fresh new pastures. Other days the reality of what we are doing hits you square in the face as you say goodbye to a dear animal you've raised from young, or you chase a new puppy around the house trying to teach him a.a.a. means 'no'.
I don't think I'd choose another way, given the opportunity to do so. This is our family's life, one where we get to live it together, the mountain tops and the valley lows. The mischievous puppy- hood, to the new born baby goats, to the 15 chickens a predator decided to help itself to over the past few weeks. It's the farm life and you really do have to love it to do it.