Sunday, November 25, 2012

Out of the Ordinary

I knew my life was a little out of the ordinary, but did not realize just how much until we spent Thanksgiving with my extended family in Arkansas.  I was helping clear the dishes, and asked if I could put the food scraps in the trash, since the garbage disposal was indisposed at the time.

My cousins' wives gave me polite-but-quizzical looks, clearly wondering why I would ask if I could throw away something that was obviously trash.  

That led me to explain, matter-of-factly at first: 

"You see, there's no trash service up in the mountains where we live, so we just take our own garbage to the landfill..." 

Their brows furrowed (politely of course; after all, they are Southern ladies). I got a bit rattled, but forged on:

"...which means we can't throw away food in the trash, because we have to store that trash for a while...''

They looked a bit askance. I rushed to explain why we store trash: 

"...and we have to make sure the trash won't attract the bears..."

By now, I could have been a little green woman, stepping off a space ship. I shrugged as I delivered the coup de grace:

" we just freeze it." 

All conversation stopped at that point.

It was uncomfortable.

Finally, someone broke the silence by bringing in more dirty plates.  I've never been so happy to see dirty plates.

It made me think about how unusual my life truly is.  I thought about it for the rest of our visit, wondering if my husband and I are truly, um, you know..."odd."  

Should we be more normal, and live where Trash Day comes once a week, and freezers contain only edible items?  Should we live where bears are a nice decorative theme, not a reality?

Then, we came home.  We arrived at night to a black sky swimming with stars I hadn't seen all week due to the street lights.  I stepped out into the mountain-fresh air, and heard no sound but the wind, after a week of listening to trains blast their warning horns at a nearby rail crossing, and C-130s drone overheard as they flew training missions out of a nearby airbase.  
No, I thought to myself, my life is NOT odd.  It's simply a bit out of the ordinary ~ you know, as in extraordinary.

This was our welcome-home committee the morning after we arrived home; please excuse the blurry shot ~ can you see all five mule deer bedded down just off our back patio?  They LOVE the buffet of freshly cut Ponderosa Pine branches!