Stories from the Homestead – A Day of “Should Be”

Should be. Most people live in a world of the “what if”. Today, my world was inundated, rather, with the “should be”.

I had it all planned out.

I knew this morning was going to begin with me loading up my three kiddos into my minivan and we were going to, ever so excitedly, head to the donut shop. It was Saturday – we survived our first week of school and we still managed to stay on top of our normal chores. It was a cause for celebration. After the trip to the donut shop would come a quick trip to Home Depot. We would then drive back home and I would let the kids play while I finally would get in some reading time – as in, just-because-I-want-to-and-it-is-not-in-the-middle-of-the-night type of reading.  After an hour or two of this, the kids would get fed lunch. I would then lay my two youngest down to bed for their afternoon nap and proceed to The Painting Project (we are currently in the middle of painting our entry, mini-hallway and living room). Once the kids were awake from their nap, I would be done with the painting and would be moving on to planning out and making copies for next week’s lessons. Dinner time, bedtime and DAY IS DONE.

THIS IS NOT HOW MY DAY WENT…AT ALL.

My day started with a startling surprise of having three of my young pullets (chickens) dead. My nemesis is at it again -the deplorable coyote. He killed one of my laying hens a few days ago. Then, I scared him away yesterday morning when I tried to sneak outside with my husband’s 9mm (I don’t blame him on that one – I was in my pajamas, total bedhead and half-asleep when I went stumbling outside to try and shoot him). Today, he had himself a good ole’ time. He found his way through the barbwire fence that we (painfully) added and left with two of my hens, the third he left dead on the ground. His gift of mockery to me, I can only assume.

So, with a grumbling spirit, I loaded up the kids. We went through a drive-thru to get donuts. We hurriedly ran into Home Depot to return some items. We returned home.

I sat there…the “should be” dancing its way through my mind.

I wanted to read. I.So.Wanted.To.Read. But the “should be” was there to remind me of the impending coyote problem.

So with a reluctant heart I went outside. I found a piece of wood. I hand-sawed that sucker in half. I was about to begin my covered chicken-run project. Why did it have to happen on a day when my handy-dandy husband was at work????

OH…and it gets better. I didn’t have everything I needed. So, I experienced the pure joy of loading up the children (again) and heading to my local lumber store for supplies – 2  4x4x6’s, 3 bags of 50 pound concrete, 1 roll of fencing, 2 boxes of fencing nails, 2 packages of netting and some zip-ties. This is all so much fun to do when you have a 10 month old, a 2-year-old and a five-year-old. It is even more fun to load everyone and everything into your minivan. (All the while I was thinking – I should be reading a book right now)

We make it home (barely), I feed the kids and then two of them go down for a nap. I head outside to continue working on what I should be doing. I cut some more wood. I measure. I dig, I dig and I dig. A 50 pound bag of concrete is hoisted over my shoulder as I go to “set the post”. I am hot. I am sweaty (the sweat is literally stinging my eyes). I am thinking about being inside the nice cool house, where I should be. Even painting my entry way is a more desirable task at this point.

But, there was a little bit of grace given to me in all of this. While in the midst of working on my second to the last post – my husband walks around the corner. There he was…like a knight in shining armor, pushing the wheelbarrow of materials I hadn’t the strength to push down myself. He was there to help me. Together, we knocked out the last two posts. Together, we moved the pile of bricks that was in our way. Together. I looked at my husband. I knew that after a long day of working, he should be inside trying to unwind. Instead, he was there with me. Working side-by-side with me – on my project. I was truly grateful for his act of selflessness.

So, my “should be” day? It obviously did not go as planned. But somewhere in the mess and frustration of the unplanned, I received a sweet token of grace that encouraged me as a person and as a wife.

Now, here I sit, writing this post when I should be doing my lesson plans for school next week. 

For goodness’ sake…goodnight y’all.

Also, because this is, a Story from the Homestead…here are a couple of homestead pictures to enjoy.

Struttin’ her stuff… 

My chickens think the goats are to be used at their disposal. (Josie is not impressed)  
 

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