The Good, the Bad, the Country

This morning, I walked out to our patio to drink my coffee in the first light of the day. The air was crisp and smelled like I remember the start of the school year from when I was a little girl.

Wrapped up in a vest that used to belong to my Grandpa Bob, I sipped my steaming cuppa while the pheasants talked to each other, the chickens clucked around the yard, and Fredrika the turkey (who went missing last week but returned 48 hours later!) hunted grasshoppers and crickets nearby.

These are my most favorite mornings I can ever remember experiencing.

I keep putting myself in situations where I can enjoy the majesty of living here, and appreciating the goodness of country life. Because… sometimes it’s less than ideal.

Friday morning, Hubs found the biggest spider we’ve ever seen, lurking right outside our front door. We’re talking small-scale tarantula. Large, hairy, dark, ominous. He killed it, and I was so thankful it was outside and not inside.

Not more than 24 hours later, I found one in our bedroom, hiding in the folds of a curtain I needed to hem to hang on the back entry door.

I screamed at it, threw the curtain on the floor, and ran in place over every square inch of that fabric.

Only to have the spider crawl out and run toward me.

I ran out of the room, grabbed a fly swatter, ran back in the room and may or may not have screamed, “DIE!” multiple times while I swatted it into a crumpled spider pile.

It took me a long while to come down from that adrenaline surge.

The very next day, I swept crumbs from underneath the counter when some of them started WALKING and it turned out to be another huge spider. I tried to smash it with the broom (after I screamed at it), and my sister was there (thank the Lord) to finish the job and squish it with her shoe, and clean up the evidence.

Only a couple of hours later, I went to change the sheets on our bed. I pulled back the comforter, and there was one of those giant spiders between the comforter and my bed sheet.

I screamed again, and from the other room Hubs laughed and remarked, “Okay, that must be for a mouse…” and then proceeded to take. his. time. sauntering in to “rescue” me.

THE SPIDER WAS IN MY BED. IN. MY. BED. Waiting to wrap me up in my sleep and suck me dry. It warranted a scream, Hubs.

I feel so violated. I will not walk barefoot in my house. I will not snuggle in a blanket until I violently shake it to rid it of any potential devilish creatures. I will not enter a room without turning on the light or having my flashlight close at hand.

I will not be comfortable in my own home until I am certain there are no spiders nearby.

After the spider-in-the-sheets incident, I walked into every room in the house and dropped peppermint oil at every door, window, and air duct vent. I’ve seen it online enough times that spiders hate peppermint oil, I am praying it’s true.

My home will forever smell like peppermint, because if this works, I plan on doing the peppermint-oil-in-every-corner-and-cranny-of-the-house ritual as often as possible.

I do not like spiders. I loathe and despise spiders that are as big as my face. I am not okay with finding three of them in my home within 30 hours of one another. And that’s not counting the spiders Hubs has killed and not even told me about.

So. In the midst of arachnidpocolypse, I step outside to sip my coffee in the glorious sunrise light of prairie mornings. And it is glorious, so I remind myself how very worth-it it is to live here.

This past weekend, Dad and Bro-in-law came out to help Hubs build a chicken coop. Our chickens have been staying in a makeshift shelter inside a shop building here on the property, and their new coop is so perfect!

It’s a productive use of an otherwise unproductive space on our property, gives them shelter from elements (and predators), gives them access to plenty of cover in the trees, and aesthetically, is a lovely addition to our property.

Our automatic chicken door should be arriving sometime this week, which will make their exit and entry even simpler to manage. I hope the chickens love their new home as much as I do!

Not only am I excited for our chickens to get to live in it, but I’m so grateful to have family nearby who willingly, out of love, give up a weekend to help us house our chickens.

And so, between sunrises and spiders, there is a balance of the good, the bad, and the country out here. We forge ahead with homesteading, homeschooling, and humble gratitude to be able to experience it all.

But don’t think for a second just because I’m humbly grateful to be here, I’m not going to pray every night for the spiders to stay OUTSIDE of my home. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

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