Wild Dogs and Truck Rides
It has been a long three months. Basically someone in the family has been sick since New Year's. I'm so ready for spring to come and good health to return.
On top of that we finally had an amazing assistant manager hired-almost had her completely trained-and she just had to resign due to unexpected circumstances. We thankfully can promote within the store and have already hired a promising new applicant to fill in the regular spot, but it has meant long hours-add to it that Easter is early this year-so God is providing abundance during a normal scarce time of year monetarily-and you have a recipe for high stress even without family sickness.
Finally, last week we had a pack of dogs kill our steer and goat. They were starting to attack Toronto, the miniature horse, when my mother-in-law managed to scare them off. Things have been reported to the sheriff and the dog warden-but he supposedly couldn't even find the next two houses down the road to tell those families that we will shoot their dogs on sight if we see them on our property. Jason finally goes to talk to the neighbors after five days and they claim that it wasn't their dogs, but a pack of wild dogs......so now we wait-the children are stuck in the house until further notice. Jason is hoping that he will be able to bait and trap the dogs, whether they are wild or our neighbors, by setting traps on our property. Basically something the county dog warden should do, but isn't. Hopefully this situation will be resolved fast, because I really don't want to be walking around my property with a gun all summer to protect my kids playing outside or while we are working in the garden....but I will be a modern version of a pioneer woman if I have to be. I will not live in fear.
So, this past Tuesday did not start out well. A certain child was being resistant at doing their school work correctly AND refused to pack a lunch for homeschool co-op. Seriously? Needless to say, I kind of lost my mind on the child....it would be one thing if we didn't have food in the house...but we had plenty of options.....Then later I was beginning to feel like the world's worst mother for my response-because I should have just let the child have the real world lesson of feeling hunger for their stubbornness and bad grades for not doing their work.....but to be honest, I was more worried about what other moms would think of me.....sending my child without a lunch...child not doing their school work......later that day I realized that I was coming down with a cold and a uti, because I guess with all the stress I had been forgetting to drink water. I am more prone to uti's since the bladder collapse last year. That made me feel guiltier as the world's worst mother-"oh, I took my illness out on my child", blah, blah.
Thankfully my Tuesday night plans changed, so Jason came back to work after teaching his co-op class and I picked up the kids-and we "left Dodge." We drove to Pittsburgh to go Easter clothes shopping at a consignment store. You should have seen the joy on all 5 kids faces when I said we were going to eat at Chick-fil-et in Pittsburgh before we left town. We ate, they played in the playground and then with God's sense of wonderful timing, the restaurant had their family night activities that day: so we got two crafts, balloon animals and free ice cream for the kids-all for the low price of $35-the cost of our meals. (Libby doesn't really like ice cream yet-so yeah, mommy got some too!) Then it was off to the consignment store where we managed to score 8 dresses, 8 pairs of shoes, and 4 cardigan sweaters for the same price of what 5 Easter dresses on sale this week at Target would have cost us. We ended the trip at a craft store-where there is a bathroom-and got a few more things we needed.
The 1 hour and 15 minute drive home was pure bliss. We prayed our family rosary and all five kids fell asleep. For a half hour there was just me in the truck in the dark in silence counting my blessings. I love to drive. My favorite memories as a teenager are the weekends my mom would drive us down to Iowa to see her family and we would sing with our boom box blasting music all the way down. I loved the travel of military life: driving across country-singing to the radio-seeing new places-how beautiful our country is. Driving usually soothes my soul and Tuesday night was the best medicine I could get. I had to stop for gas so the older child that I had the conflict with earlier in the day woke up. Radio was kept "off" and in the silence and dark the child talked for the last twenty minutes home....non-stop....and I didn't understand most of what was said about video games, but we were communicating again and Wednesday would be a new day.
Wishing all of you the sweetness of the healing and light of a blessed Holy Week and Easter,