Archive for the ‘country’ Category

Country life

I have a favorite story about living in the country—not the country of daisied meadows, white picket fences, and sturdy red barns, but the country of manure and ripe silage, barns gradually collapsing into themselves, and cows bellowing deep into the night.

We’d been at our house on Horseneck Road for about a year and half. New house, new baby, they say, and we had one of each. We also had cats. Lots of cats, and because it was spring, lots of kittens. Only one of the cats was officially ours, but cats don’t care about property lines, so they’d worn a cat’s-paw-wide path across our big field, from our nearest neighbor’s yard to ours. Something I learned about cats in the country: they like to tuck themselves away from nighttime nuisances like frosts and coyotes by crawling up under a car. You have to remember to bang the car’s hood in the morning to rouse them.

Our baby’s first few months were a challenge—a succession of health problems that eventually faded, but that left me, an inexperienced new mother, frazzled. One morning—long after my husband Tom had left for work—Meggie was sick again, and we needed to get to the doctor’s. I hurriedly got us both ready and bundled her out to the car in the driveway. And started it up. Without banging the hood.

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