Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Wild Life

The coyotes stalked our "neighborhood" this weekend. I'm sure it's like this every night, that no one pays them any mind, and that eventually they'll fade into background night noise for us, too. But we're in the early stages of becoming acquainted with night noise in the wilderness. And the coyote songs are chilling. Last night they howled early, just as the last pink ray of sunlight slipped away from the hills, we heard the bark. I was in Martha working on dinner and Jeremy called from outside, "Do you hear them? They're everywhere." It always starts with one, the pack leader? Many, many join in with a howl and it ends with the crescendo yipping. But last night ended with the distinct sound of something being attacked - a brief, shrill cry. Then. Silence. How appropriate to hear, on this Halloween eve, the gruesome drama play out so near us, the noises making the event sound bloodier than it likely was.

And in lighter news - our first civilized dinner in Martha! Ta da.

The dogs also spent nights in the trailer for the first time. We were worried about the limited space, but they didn't let the size cramp their style.

Although, I must say that having dog heads pop up under the bathroom partition is slightly unsettling. Personal space is important especially in 100 sq. feet.

In house news, there's news (ihopeihopeihope!). We received a rather expensive bid on Friday, so expensive we simultaneously fell over laughing until laughter turned to tears, and tears turned into comments about how suddenly Martha plays a starring role in our five year plan. As I shuddered at the thought of my dogs' heads popping up under the bathroom partition for the whole of my thirties - a foggy memory suddenly floated into my mind. It was a memory of a small road trip Jer and I took almost two years ago to a cedar cabin building company in Smithville, just down the road from our land. I suddenly remembered their "package deals," their impressive and sustainable building methods and, overall, the incredible natural beauty of the structures. We dropped that idea when we believed we could build a metal home for half the price.

HA! HAHA!! AAAAHAHAHA! Oh boy, if I could only reach out to the Jenna of two years ago, pat her on the head and say, "Awww, it's cute when you think you know something about building!"

Fast forward to Friday night, mouths agape at the new bid, minds boggled at the prospect of the back and forth with the builder trying to understand the costs, knowing that the other forthcoming bids will be similar. Once and for all, crying uncle. We give. We have an appointment next weekend with the cabin maker, the very first place we visited on our quest to find the right home for our little acreage. Some people find that coming "full circle" in this way is somehow comforting, but to me it feels a little like a punch in the gut. However, the prospect of going back, aaaallll the way back to what we wanted in the beginning, is awfully exciting. Living in a house filled with the warmth of woods grown and harvested sustainably right here in Texas, handmade by craftsmen from only one town over, and nestled into the trees on piers and beams (and NOT on a massive bed of concrete, thank you very much) feels - right.

Finally, and arguably the biggest news of all, our Boo turned 2 years old today. He would have received his very own birthday apple but Jasmine kicked him just as I stretched my hand over the fence to shove the present in his mouth. He bit her neck, was kicked again, and then suddenly 5 donkeys stood in a circle, heads pointed out, kicking each other angrily. Such is a birthday, if you're a donkey. Anyway, happy birthday Boo. We are grateful for all of the humor, scars, and torment you have brought to our lives.

(If you can guess which of these is Boo, I'll give you a donkey)

There is no photo to better epitomize Boo. Here he is attempting to snack on my elbow after having just nipped Seamus on the nose. Seamus, I'm sorry.

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