Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Embarrassing

It's official. I'm tired of winter. I know it took me a little while longer than most, but I've definitely reached that point now.

And it isn't the snow or the cold that has me wishing for spring to hurry up and get here. It's this:

It is rainy, gray, dreary...and just about any other 'BLAH' word you can conjure.

So this has had me thinking about warmer weather, spring's arrival, planting the garden
working in the flower beds Ahhhhhhhhhh.....

And it also made me think about sleeping with the windows open, which made me remember a little funny that happened right after this 'city' girl moved to the cow pasture.

First of all you must realize that the 'city' where I grew up wasn't really a city at all. With a population of about 1100, it was more of a small town, but to the folks around here, I'm still a city girl.

The kids and I moved here on Halloween Day 1994. The fence that bordered our property was barbed wire. We were chainlink people. What was up with that? Then we discovered that it wasn't to keep my kids in the yard, but to keep the cows that grazed the pasture on the other side of it contained. We were simply THRILLED to have these large, beautiful animals so close to us! There were times when we'd sit on the back deck just to watch them. Theirs is such a peaceful existence and even with being on my own in a new place for the first time in my life, I found that sitting and watching those cows could calm me. Whenever they were moved to a different pasture, we missed them and anxiously awaited their return.

Then came spring. The air filled with birdsong

and the fragrance of wildflowers blooming in the pasture.

All those things about country living that had appealed to me and drawn me to my new home.

Life was good.

Strangely, the most difficult part of our transition to country living was the quiet.


If you're from the 'city' and you're used to an occasional car going by or a train whistle echoing through the night or even the neighbors coming and going at all hours, the stillness of a country night can be unsettling at first. It took me weeks to be able to fall asleep as soon as I went to bed.

The quiet can be really deafening.

But back to the talk of spring. There is just something so happy and hopeful about it, and I was starting to get used to our quiet new life. One night, when it was finally warm enough to suit me, I decided to leave my bedroom windows open. There was the softest breeze and it was scented with the sweetness of the blooms just beyond the back fence. I'd grown much more accustomed to the quiet of nighttime in the country. The kids and I had played outside right up until bathtime, so they were completely spent and had fallen to sleep as soon as their little heads hit the pillows. I was exhausted as well, and didn't even bother to pick up a book. It was lights out for me.

Then came the sound.


It was faint but it was frightening enough to a woman living with only her two young kids in a strange place, far from all things familiar.

And there it was again.


It seemed to be coming at fairly regular intervals. And it was completely unidentifiable! Was someone snooping around out there? Or worse yet, was someone trying to come inside? I really worked myself into a tizzy trying to figure out what it could possibly be.

Quietly I got out of bed and crept to the open window. The light of the moon in the cloudless sky was enough to illuminate most of the backyard and I could see nothing out of the ordinary. The swingset was still. The deck was vacant except for the grill and the two empty lawn chairs.

But the sound still came.


I am ashamed to say that I spent nearly an hour being absolutely terrified and trying to figure out what on earth was happening outside my bedroom. I could not see anything that could possibly be making that sound and I would have felt ridiculous calling up 911. After all, 911 is for emergencies and this didn't appear to be an emergency.

Unless you count the fact that I thought I might faint if I didn't hurry up and figure out what was going on!

Then suddenly, after I was so completely agitated and wide awake that I didn't think I'd ever sleep again, it occured to me what I was hearing. I went to my nightstand and pulled out a flashlight. Sweeping the beam across the backyard, I finally found the culprit.

It was HUGE!


And it was one of the most docile creatures I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

She was eating. The FWWWOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTT! sound was the heavy spring grass being torn from the ground as she munched her way to a full tummy.

Then I put on this

felt grateful that there had been no one there to witness my ignorance, and tucked myself back into bed.

How embarrassing.


  1. Oh, I love it! I too came from a large city and now we live 3 houses out of the city limits. We can hear all the night sounds out here and see the stars, which we couldn't do in the city. It's great. Happy ffffwwwoootting!

  2. I love this too! I can imagine having the same reaction. You've given me a great idea for a post of my own tomorrow. I am going to link back to this when I introduce my story. :-D

  3. Ahh, this makes me want to open my windows. I did get a laugh at your last story. Spring will be here soon, it HAS to be!

  4. What a wonderful story. I'm a city girl, and when we moved here to the desert years ago, I can remember laying in bed at night hearing coyotes howl. I thought we'd moved to the middle of nowhere. Of course, we're still here but the city has moved in around us and now we're in the middle of suburbia. I miss those sounds.


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