• Cara Van Leuven

There Was a Lot of Mouse Poop

When you’re a person not easily motivated by the pleasure of witnessing your finished projects, living on a 6-acre homestead in an 1861 Civil-War era farmhouse can quickly lead to a shack falling over in tumbleweeds. Tom and I are trying our best to change our casual interest in chores, and this Sunday evening, as we sigh heavy from exhaustion, we may be turning over a new leaf.

Our the most current conquest has been the four-car shed that was ultimately bulging with the previous owner’s nails and washers, paint thinners and safety vests. We added to the volume with massive wicker chairs, ladders as long as spider legs, long forgotten ribbons and documents, three motorcycles and iron candle holders.

The candleholders gloriously made their way to Goodwill along with a desk (the top blew off during transport) and an entire trailer full of pillows, food processors and silk trees. It was our third major trip of donating and still there is more to unload. Today feels like a triumph. It’s not just that the garage has been cleared, cleaned and de-cluttered; it’s that we discovered there is a reward in accomplishing tasks. Not everything has to be play to make for a good weekend.

Some tasks simply cannot be completed because of, well, heart. We have two Canadian geese that love our pond. Often times we find them in the grass we are returning to prairie. That grass needs to be mowed in order to better flourish, but we simply can’t because I’m afraid they’ve built a nest. I’m not saying they’re not two-timing on us with the neighbor’s pond, but just to be on the safe side there will be no tractor disturbing their eggs.

Shiloh is a different dog – I don’t think he could ever go back to a loft. He’s learned to climb trees; he herds frogs and torments our pair of Canadian geese as well as sparrows, robins and wrens. Sometimes we have to tether him just to save him from himself. He simply will not stop running, and today he’s lame due to overexertion.

Life is good. Life is unfolding. And life is happening. We have eggs that will be hatching leading to chicks in the pond soon. I found an earthworm under my boot in the mudroom. How did it get there?? Wasps seem to enjoy hanging out in parked cars but don’t let you know they’re there until you’re at 60mph on a country road. Irises are showing off purple hues and the frogs chime in with the owls, coyotes and birds.