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Yep…about everything in our lives is rather unconventional. To say that our family marches to the beat of a different drum is simply an understatement. From all outward appearances, we appear to be the regular family next door. However, I am certain that more than one person has observed our family with a quizical look and a whisper of, “What in the world?”. We are simply rather unconventional.
Mother’s Day 2010. Mother’s Day conjures up images of scripted cards, floral arrangements and never-ending brunches. Perhaps a family gathering at church followed by a delightful dinner. This is undeniably NOT the vision of Muthah’s Day at the Pike household.
The day commenced with a long anticipated weed burning episode that produced enough smoke to blot the sun from the sky and cause my daughter and I to stop, drop and roll into a combat crawl to get away from the smoke chokehold. We maintained this method of transportation to the front of the house as we met the local Park Service Rangers who were responding to what appeared to be a gargantuan brush fire. It seems they would like for us to notify dispatch before the next weed burn. Who would have thought that a leachfield burn could be seen for miles? Note to self.
What could be more interesting than a springtime brush fire? You guessed it, branding cattle! I know, you see these images on so many Mother’s Day cards, right? My husband and I, with our two teenage daughters commenced to the task. Steve would rope the calves, the girls and I would stretch and hold them until branding, banding and vaccinations were through. I am certain that Steve gazed out over the scene before him and quietly wished for male assistance to arrive. With each task, the poor man was met with a barrage of female-fueled input sounding much like clucking hens in a hen house. His masculine help never arrived. Not until we were done. It’s all a bit unconventional, but did you know it is probably more comfortable to brand in jeans rather than shorts and running shoes?
Yardwork. Who doesn’t love yard work!? In the Gunnison basin, the winds blow incessantly until the snow melts from the high peaks. This would occur somewhere in late June. I am not talking winds that are akin to a breeze…I am talking gale force winds that could rival Hurricane Katrina. This little trick from Mother Nature makes yardwork a matter of physics. All I can say is that after hours of toiling in the flower beds, tending the lawn and filling the many bird feeders, the only result was a large cache of mulch, birdseed and clean laundry in a windblown jumble 300 yards from our house. Luckily I planted the new perinneals my daughters gave me for Muthah’s Day. The great news is that I did not find them in the pile with the laundry and birdseed. The bad news is that I can’t find them anywhere.
My husband and I are still trying to remember why we thought it was a great idea to have not one, but two Great Danes. While they really have extremely sweet temperments…they are just, well, BIG. And needy. Big
and needy. Living on a ranch, our dogs are constantly filthy and thus spend relatively little time in the house. (Part of that reason is that daughter #1 dislikes them. Thus, when the dogs enter the house, she quickly diverts them right back out the living room doors before they can get comfortable. No one truly fights this either.) It was my plan to give these lunks a bath for Mutha’s Day. Did you know Danes hate water? Daughter #2 and I wrestled the 130 lb dogs through 30 minutes of cold water, foam and wind. We finished the job and high-fived our way back to the house only to find the dogs rolling in the windswept debris pile where our mulch, yard art and clean laundry land. There may, in fact, be a small bonus in the fact that danes have a shorter life expectancy than most other breeds. I think I know why.
So when people ask me about Muthah’s Day…I simply tell them it was just another day in the life. And it was…it’s all just a bit unconventional.