Monday, July 3, 2006

Can’t You Smell That Smell?

I knew that moving to the country would change me. I felt up to the challenge, and still do for the most part. There are things to get used to living in the country, and I am willing.

Folks said,

"Oh, you won't like being that far out"

"You don't know anything about farming or animals"

"There will be bugs and snakes and wild animals".

Granted, the things they said were true. We were moving  far out, we knew nothing starting out, and we did have wild animals running amuck.

Yet I have become used to being 40 minutes from the closest Wal-Mart. I love the drive through the country into town, especially when the hay is freshly mown. I  just plan it into our schedule, and it actually helps me save money. We grocery shop every two months, then have a food co-op deliver once a month, and a Sam's club run once a month.

I have read books, asked a billion questions, spent days online, and even have a smidge of on-the-farm training now, all about caring for our animals and gardening. I believe we have proved that you don't have to be born a farmer-these are acquired skills.

Yes, there are bugs and snakes and wild animals. I have learned to not go around barefooted outside as often. (An incident with a Copperhead last summer branded that concept into my psyche. Besides, chicken poop is gross when it is wet.) We have a few free-range guineas and homemade tea tree oil spray to help with the bugs, and a  shotgun for the wild animals. No problem. I'm adjusting.

Except for one thing.

Driving home from church yesterday I was eagerly anticipating basking in the  warm spring breezes on the blue-skied, sunny drive. I fully opened each window in the van and took a deep, invigorating breath-one of those breaths that leave you feeling a little lightheaded from the extra oxygen.

Then I gagged.

It seems no one mentioned the delicious aromas emanating from the countryside when spring planting is imminent. The kids, amid mock vomiting noises and all the melodrama they could muster, cried,"Ooh, what is that smell?" Mr. Visionary unexcitedly assured the family that it was nothing to cause alarm, that it was just the odor of "fresh soil".

I am a decorated (evidenced by the stains on my shirts) veteran of family stomach viruses, toddler diapers, and boys' bathrooms. I have even managed to acclimate myself to the smell of chicken litter (outside the house) and cow manure.

Assuredly,  my getting used to the fragrance of "fresh soil" will be a work of the Lord. I know He is able, I'm just not sure I'm willing. That soil might be newly turned, but I promise you, there is nothing "fresh" about it.

(Note to Self: Please refer back to paragraph One.)

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