On my darkest, loneliest days – Charlie never leaves me – my spirit animal lifts me up – just by curling up next to me (and snoring a little)
Recently, an acquaintance paid a brief visit to my home. Upon entering, the guest looked about and “smirked”. Yeah, I will call it a smirk. I have visited this person’s home and it is quite stylish, very formal and tidy.
OK, being completely honest – I am NOT the world’s best housekeeper. I am NOT the worst either. My house is a simple farm house, no fancy furnishings or carpets. Everything is more “homey” and functional. Yes, there is a mule halter hanging on the closet door handle and I have a saddle in the guest room.
I keep up with the laundry. All dishes are washed and put away promptly and counter tops are cleaned. Beds are sort of made (dogs have a tendency to unmake them). I also sweep and mop at least four times a week. With windows open, my house is filled with good, clean country air – and dust and pollen. I need to dust and wash windows and put away some clutter – so yeah, my house looks “lived-in”.
I have a dog door, and two dogs – hairy, shedding dogs. So, there are little hair balls hiding under beds and chairs. On any given day, there are probably muddy little paw prints about as well.
So, the fact is – if you come to my house looking for dust and dirt and dog hair – you will find it. But, if you come to my house looking for hospitality, friendship, warmth, acceptance, and a hot meal – you will find that too. Visitors are welcome to put their feet up on the coffee table or grab a cozy blanket and snuggle up on the couch. I don’t freak out if a drink or a snack is spilled. In fact, dogs handle most spills rather quickly and efficiently. I invite visiting youngsters to pull out toys and rocking horses and crayons and books, spread them about the living room – and just play.
So, here is my question. What is more important, housekeeping or hospitality? Maybe it is just a personal preference, but I want people to “feel at home” in a cluttered, lived-in house with a few stray hair balls and muddy paw prints – oh, and some dust and dog snot on the windows.
You ever have days you just can’t win? At the last minute, I needed to take my husband to the doctor. I had to call work and let them know I would be late. Then, I felt guilty about leaving my work team hanging – I am old-school dependable. I am ol’ reliable, at work 20 minutes early. But not today.
My husband kept apologizing for needing me to drive, no matter how much I assured him it was OK. “I love you. I want to drive you. We are a team.” Then I felt guilty for making him feel guilty.
When I got him back home safe and sound, I felt guilty that I had to make haste and rush out the door to work – no time to throw the ball for Charlie dog or rub a puppy belly. They both looked so sad!!
That is my vicious circle. When I am at home, I feel guilty for missing work. When I am at work (two jobs), I feel guilty for neglecting home and farm chores. When I carve out ME time to ride my red mare, I still criticize myself for the To Do List I haven’t finished and the floors I didn’t mop. Then, I work myself into a silly state and get in a huge hurry. What does that accomplish?
I hurried by the gas station and slammed my finger in the car door. How dumb was that? So now I feel guilty, hasty, and ouchy! Why do I do this to myself?
But, I am still going riding tomorrow!!
The upcoming solar eclipse is an exciting event – but I cannot help but worry about my horses and outdoor pets. Is that silly? Should I be concerned?
I can keep my house dogs in the house, I will just shut the dog door.
I think Gertie Goose is nearly blind already, so no worries for her. I think Flip Flop Kitty will be OK.
But what about my red mares? I know they are little stinkers, but they are my little stinkers and I love them.
We desperately needed the rain here in Virginia, and I was glad to see it. But, after every storm there are fences to be checked, branches and debris to cleanup. This is when Charlie dons his working harness and pulls a small wagon. He sits anxiously awaiting my call: “Let’s go to work”!! We walk the fence line together. I gather up the fallen limbs while he hauls the little wagon. He is a huge help.
Of course, after a hard day at work, there is nothing like an afternoon nap. Notice the “Farm Dog” collar? Well earned, fine Charlie, well earned – a label of love and honor!! I couldn’t make it without you!! God Bless Farm Dogs!!!
Thanks to the miracle of coffee, I dragged my ragged, worn carcass out of bed this morning to do farm chores and then head off to work. My husband sleepily praised me “Honey, you work like a dog!” Hmmm! Really? I am heading off to muck stalls and Charlie is sleeping late. But look at that sweet face!!!
Last year, our dear Rocky crossed over rainbow bridge. Rocky was such a sweet, scruffy mutt. As a wee pup, some wicked soul threw him from a moving vehicle. We were happy to rescue him and fortunate to have him for 11 years.
Today, as everyday, I was missing my son so much – and look – a doggie cloud!! Rocky came to lift my spirits!!
Baby is very aggravated with me. She had to get an EXTRA bath this week. Big Brother Charlie peed on her head!
I gave Charlie a stern “talking to” but I don’t think he is sorry.