It turns out country life suits me quite nicely. I am communing with nature every day. It makes me happier than I ever imagined.
The Carpenter is a country boy who was never meant to live in town, though he did for 25 years. He was meant to have space to roam, nature to contend with and things to gather to create piles, then move the piles, sort them to make piles from the piles. He’s like a reverse squirrel (he is not going to laugh at that line, so I hope you do).
I grew up in neighbourhoods where the street lights enforced our curfews and privacy was not fenced in. Nature didn’t last long there. My hometown grew faster with people than could absorb.
So, for me, every day is a field trip, like when I discovered Desmond and Daphne Duck waddling through the creek bank that winds through our property looking for a nesting spot. I took it upon myself to recommend some real estate options for their growing family. I never saw myself with a career in real estate. Too much math. Yet, I couldn’t help myself from suggesting the best neighbourhoods on the property, considering things such as shade, deep grass, flood plains, footpaths.
Know this: if Desmond and Daphne swim past with their ducklings, I’m naming every single one. Stay tuned.
I found the most adorable, lumpy toad meandering through the grass. Yes, meandering. They do that. It’s not quite a hop. It’s more like a slide-hustle limp. Less disco, more country-western line dancing thing. You had to be there.
Guess what I named him? Toad, naturally, because he was clearly confident in who he was, even as I shrieked with excitement that I knew he was a toad. I know he enjoyed the attention. It’s not every day an amphibian gets that kind of joyful reaction, I’m sure. You’re welcome, Toad.
But it was the teeny tiny frog that captured my heart when he leapt across my path on the gravel laneway.. He was about the size of a loonie. I knelt down to get a closer look, but he seemed genuinely freaked out so I didn’t pick him up. Maybe he knows Toad.
That’s when I heard the crunch and crackle of gravel beneath the tires of the Carpenter’s approaching truck, heading straight for us. I knew he would stop (we haven’t updated our wills yet). But as he got closer to us, I began ushering my little hopping friend out of the path of the tires. Of course, the Carpenter couldn’t see the teeny, tiny frog, just his lunatic wife bent over in the middle of the laneway talking to something invisible to his eye, arms waving like an air traffic controller. Please, just take a moment and imagine his face.
As I ran up to the truck, where the Carpenter still had that same look you just imagined, I breathlessly explained the whole frog-crossing-the-road story.
Still picturing his face?
Yep. That’s the one.
The Carpenter lowered his head, shaking it in a way that said, “how is this my life?” Yet he did not speak the words. He put the truck in gear and drove on.
I saved a life that day. Teeny, tiny frog lived to tell Toad that story.
As the Carpenter always says, I can make friends with anyone. He doesn’t say it like it’s a skill, but I know it is.