• Cara Van Leuven

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Friday after work my two dear friends and I decided to meet for drinks – the meeting place a downtown Mexican hotspot. We found ourselves slightly bored and disappointed. It was then Birgit suggested she get her old dog and we wear out the night at the farmhouse.

Hours later, the sun had set and two exhausted dogs lie panting in the grass. Birgit, Elisha and I blasted music from the truck’s speakers all the while fighting over which song sucked more. Tom sat speechless witnessing the unfolding of drunken idiots.

At the farmhouse projects patiently wait to be tackled. It’s a fact the doors are unstained and there are no doorknobs. Saturday we attempted to tackle them with Mahogany stain. It was redder than my hair after a fresh dye job. Next we gave Dark Chestnut a shot. Of course we didn’t start in an inconspicuous area. Nope – went for the jugular as far as doors are concerned. The verdict? Paint the damn door and start from scratch on the others with ANYTHING but Mahogany or Dark Chestnut.

Any more we tend to stay close to the house unless there are errands to be run. On our way back from a painting framed we stopped by a yard sale. This is what we’ve found you do in the country. There were fly swatters, aloe plants and dish towels. More importantly, there were vintage tractors. Those Tom took seriously.

I think he’s still scratching his head thinking about that tractor, but what really amazes me is the turn of attitude toward the farmhouse. It seems this blog has repeatedly expressed my concern of Tom’s outlook on the endless projects and the responsibility of home ownership as opposed to loft ownership.

This shift delights me. He’s finding beauty in our home on the inside and outside. Since I was homebound Sunday due to an extremely upset belly, we did a little gardening. Last week the back of our house was beginning to warm up with some gardening, but it was today that it came together.

With only a couple additional plants purchased and a few transplants, the garden area was transformed. With a birdbath and rocks, both lying around the property, the place spruced up to a degree that surprised us. We were like DIY Savants.

There is reward in projects. We may be old dogs, but we’re learning new tricks.