I know the perfect place for you. You don’t belong in the city, I can tell. These words of wisdom came from a Realtor who was holding an open house we happened to visit. We’d never met her, but she seemed to know.
She locked up her open house and told us to follow her. We followed her to two houses. The first was down a windy road and across a rickety bridge. Not happening, Steve said. Do you know what it would cost to replace that bridge? I thought the bridge was cute, but not that cute. Ummm no. I figured it might cut into my shoe budget so I had to agree. Not happening!
We caravaned to the next house. The parcel was long and narrow just as Steve had imagined. The owners were home and showed us around. We liked the house, it wasn’t fancy and we could see ourselves there. More important to us, especially Steve, was the land. We all went out back. Steve stopped and gazed out at the land. He had that little grin on his face. Mr. Richards, the owner, gazed back at Steve and he too had a little grin.
Mr. Richards told us that the two steers out in the walnut orchard belonged to Sonia next door. She lent them to the Richards to keep the thistle down. Those big boys were doing their job, chewing away and didn’t so much as glance at us. The weeds and thistle were higher than my head. I started to sneeze while the kids roamed about. Steve told us all to be careful as you never know what’s in tall grass. Could be snakes, spiders or something else, you just never know.
It was something else. Steve called, Coooodyyyy, but it was a little too late. It was slimy, greenish in color, and pretty much covered five-year old Cody’s shoes and pants. Kendra and I looked at each other and it was all over. It would be the first time screams of laughter occurred on what was to be our little piece of dirt. Cody looked at Steve, Ummm Daddy, just sayin’, but…… Now we had tears running down our faces. We couldn’t stop. The more we tried to look serious, the funnier it was.
Our merriment didn’t faze the steers at all. They just kept chewing. Lord knows what they were thinking being they were of the California variety and all. California has Happy Cow commercials. I could just imagine those two starring in one. Got milk? Nope, but I put land mines all over the place. Soon the orchard will be all ours!
The property wasn’t set up then as it is today. The only escape was back through the house. Oh yeah, great! The lovely country aroma might keep other buyers at bay. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Steve was embarrassed and Cody was not quite sure how he ended up in the predicament in the first place. I was kind of embarrassed too but darned if it wasn’t funny. Steve held Cody with his arms stretched out far away as Kendra and I tried to stifle our giggles. The Richards smiled kindly and didn’t seem too worked up about Steve hosing Cody off. Steve gets all the fun jobs, you know. Steve held Cody and I held Cody’s shoes as we made our way back through their home. It wasn’t until we were safely back in our truck that Steve let loose an honest to goodness laugh.
Of course, we had to buy the place as we’d already created happy memories there. We were in a three-way bid and won because the seller liked the way Steve looked at the land. That small grin on Steve’s face, which won the seller over, was a grin of possibilities. He always could see everything in the grass, quietly sharing what he saw along the way. He would always be there to protect his wandering flock, quick to pick one up, or hose another off, if a misstep or two was taken.
We were looking for a family home. A place where we could live, laugh and love. We had the love and as long as we could laugh, we could find the way to get through anything.