Another Day in the Country

How was work?

© Another Day in the Country

“We’ll bring the taco fixin’s if you make the meat,” we said.

We were having supper with our cousin’s kids and afterward a game of Jokers and Pegs, all of these things — the kids, the game and tacos — favorites.

While the burger sizzled, the cowboy in the family cleaned up, and Jess fried tortillas, I arranged the veggies on the dining room table.

“So, how was work today?” a little voice said.

There stood a three-year-old boy who wasn’t even as tall as the chairs around the table, asking me about my day. I smiled, because I knew that he’d heard his daddy ask this very question of us many a time at this very table, and since Dad was in the shower, this little man was talking to the guests, starting a conversation.

“I painted a whole lot of rockers on my porch,” I answered. “You’ll have to come by and see them.”

He watches me tell about painting rockers with serious eyes. This little guy loves visiting my house because he likes to feed the fish and check on the chickens that lay blue eggs and I love having him come.

“And what did you do today?” I counter. “Did you go to preschool?” He nods.

They’d been instructed to bring something to preschool that started with the letter ‘A.’ Being new to the alphabet game, his Mom was helping him decide what to take. She suggested an apron and, expedient as always, she folded a particularly colorful one up and put it in his backpack. She could now check that off her “things to accomplish while preparing a child for preschool that he doesn’t really know if he wants to attend or not” list.

At pickup time, his Mom asked, just like I was now asking, “So, how was school?”

Clayton, the little boy who loves anything with a motor more than anything else, answered, “I should have brought an Ambulance.”

Yep, that about sized up our work day. I had paint on my feet and he should have brought an ambulance instead of an apron.

After supper, the grown-ups played Jokers and Pegs. Our Colorado cousins introduced us to this game and it has proliferated as a family favorite. The game is a hybrid of the board game Sorry using a wooden pegboard and playing cards. It’s very challenging and great fun.

You can play the game competitively or cooperatively, a little like life (not the game but reality). We love playing partners, which, like life, makes the game more challenging and also more fun! Our game nights are so memorable that we keep a game book to log in and keep track of who won.

Our cousin’s kids were going south for a christening, they told us and “would you watch the dogs?” they wanted to know. Of course we would; we also love their dogs.

On Sunday morning, we headed to the farm to let the dogs out. We laughed that my sister and I were both going for a one-person job, but it’s fun to drive through the countryside on a lovely fall morning.

“I brought my camera, just in case we see something,” I said, with a half-shy grin. I love taking pictures.

We were not disappointed as we drove over the rickety bridge at Jacob’s crossing, across Sunflower Rd., and turned on Sage.

“Look,” Jess pointed, “deer!”

I slowed the truck, then stopped.

Three does and a mostly-grown fawn jumped the fence line with easy grace, ran across the road, and bounded over the next fence into a field filled with big round bales and greening grass. They cavorted between the bales, enjoying the day, down through a draw and onto higher ground.

Then, turning to watch us, ears forward, they stopped.

Morning sun. Blue skies. Stillness.

Time stood still.

We soaked in something magical, the deer watching us watching them.

Click, went the camera. When I started the truck moving again, they turned their backs on us and ran up the hill toward a line of trees, on another day in the country.

Last modified Oct. 13, 2016