We’ve been slowly ruining our reputation as upstanding citizens of our small town for a good while now, but I think as of yesterday we’re well on our way to becoming the local tourist attraction. To give you a small sampling of the things that have led to our reputational demise…
We’re keeping 5 goats, 60-something chickens (I lost count a long time ago), and (as of yesterday) 5 sheep on a one acre plot of land.
To accommodate these animals, we have three stationary pens made of chain link and cattle panel strategically stationed in various areas of the backyard and one dog pen rotated daily around the front yard. I’m pretty sure no one around here has ever heard of mob grazing and sure as heck wouldn’t dream of doing it in their front yard.
We go to the feed store and ask questions like: “do you have feed for sheep?” and get answers like: “well, sir, I recon we call that hay.”
We go to that same feed store to purchase our cattle panels (which we load into the back of the 15 passenger van, with the doors open and the ends practically dragging on the road), our dog pens (which we strap to the top of the van with ratchet ties), and the straw we use to cover the floor of the van whenever we transport the animals (in the back of the van, with the seats taken out.) We get strange looks at the feed store. Always.
My husband gets his workouts in by doing sprints up and down our driveway and, during the spring and summer, jogging behind the push mower.
I get my workouts in (or used to!) by running distances of 10+ miles on our main highway and was once asked incredulously: “what do you GET for running a 12 mile race?!”
“Well… there’s a tee shirt….”
(Actually, I told him we’d get a medal. He didn’t seem impressed.)
We go to photo shoots around the neighborhood with crazy props and have been stopped by both neighbors and police officers who want to know what we’re doing and we once went into a public building to ask directions to “the brick wall.” It was my German friend Manuela who did the asking, and I’m pretty sure they thought she was a tourist from another country, looking for a different wall.
We set up huge tents in our back yard every year for Tabernacles, and most Friday nights my husband goes around the yard blowing the shofar, which I’m pretty sure can be heard for miles around.
We play capture the flag in our front yard with airsoft guns designed to look like semi-automatic weapons. I got into a bit of trouble on that one, when Manuela and I donned my husbands camo gear and went traipsing through our neighbors woods. He didn’t seem to think that hiding from my husband, who was trying to shoot me, was a good enough reason for me to go trespassing on his property.
(At this point, the fact that we also have a 15 passenger van bench serving as our front porch furniture, a milk stanchion on our back porch, a junk pile in the back yard, and I wear a headcovering in a area where cultural and religious diversity is not exactly venerated is hardly worth mentioning.)
But the worst of it (so far!) came yesterday when two of our sheep got out and went crashing through the yards of several of our neighbors. Nevermind the fact that it was a Saturday, I think every person within a 10 mile radius passed our house at least once and saw us running top-speed after those two sheep. Personally, I have a feeling they got on the phone with each other and wanted a glimpse of the show.
I think we’re officially THAT FAMILY.
… you know the ones.
*(I snagged that title from a blog I enjoy.)