I somehow managed to spend most of the weekend away from the farm. I didn’t intend to, we still have several bushels of beans to can, but looking back I couldn’t really help it. Today I ran a few errands, picked up some things on my to-do list and tried to be a responsible adult. But the best part of the day was hitting our two lane road with the windows down. I saw several deer on my way home, the sun was shining down warm and bright, and the sky was blue with big puffs of cotton-ball clouds. When I got home I changed into my farm clothes, tugged my rubber boots on, then headed up the hill with the dogs in tow.
Standing in the chicken coop, plenty muddy and sweaty, filling up the duck bath while the hens pecked around, gosh that’s better than any supermarket on earth. Sometimes you need a day in town to appreciate the feeling of being on the farm. There’s no crowds, no traffic, no red lights. It’s just the sun and the sky and the earth under your feet, and everywhere you look is life among all the green and growing things.
For all the good days, the ones that just last and last, and you can’t help but keep drinking it up to the last drop, we get some crazy ones too. Zoe slipped out when Sadie got home from work. When I pulled up at the house, she hopped right in my car, tongue lolling like she hadn’t done a thing wrong. And boy did she STINK. I knew what she had been up to – it starts with an S and ends in K-U-N-K.
We got out of the car, flew through the kitchen, and went straight for the front porch. I tied her to a long cable, gave her a big bowl of water and laid out an old blanket, then Sadie and I called it a night. The kitchen, my hands and my clothes all smelled like skunk. I’ve lived here a little over a year now, and man am I thankful that this is the first incident. I might not have stuck around so long if I knew about that odor. It’s some potent stuff.
This morning I put Zoe in the tub, armed with a bottle of skunk deodorizer and a ‘recipe’ of peroxide, baking soda and a little bit of Dawn soap. I washed her twice, getting myself and the bathroom floor just as wet as she was. Oh she looked so pitiful, all soaking wet, gosh you should have heard her whine. I reminded her that it was all her fault, but I don’t know if she really understood. When I was finally satisfied, I dried her off, put the whole mess in the washing machine, and brought her out for Sadie to smell test.
Skunks are made to smell. I don’t know what all is in that spray, but it is potent stuff, and it lingers. Apparently, for the next few months, whenever Zoe gets wet we will get to enjoy that smell all over again. Sadie gave the thumbs up so Zoe got to stay inside, then I went went straight back to the tub and tried to get the smell out of my nose. The kitchen was still a little ripe, so we lit a candle. Sadie said it will hang around for a while, so I guess I need to get used to it.
When I got in my car to run errands today I just about gagged and called it quits. I drove the whole way with all the windows down, but it didn’t make much of a difference. I bought an air freshener for the AC vent, but now it just smells like a skunk that came from a tropical island. It wasn’t the first time I wished for a truck, and it won’t be the last. But it’s part of living life out here, and you never know what will happen in a day on the farm.
But tonight, Sadie and I saw the most beautiful sunset. It spread across the sky behind the mountains and over the river, all orange and gold and pink, slowly slipping into dark blues and purple. After checking to make sure everyone was safely up for the night, I stopped at the end of the sidewalk and looked up to the sky. The big dipper was hanging right above our house. The handle was tipped, almost like it was pouring out all the stars into the night sky. The crickets and frogs were singing their summertime symphony, and for a moment, I couldn’t smell skunk at all.