We lived on the farm for 38 years and not once did anybody ask me about living in the country.
Is there a difference?
Understandedly, Phyllis had mixed emotions about our change of address. It meant giving up her outdoor animals, especially her sheep.
Me? If I never smell lanolin on the hoof again, I'll be mighty happy. You don't encounter that aroma in the grocery store. Or the mall. Or anywhere else on the city streets.
If I want to sleep in, I can. I don't have to worry about a middle-of-the-night barn call to play midwife to an obstreperous ewe.
Nor do I have to soak ice-cold lambs in the kitchen sink or feed the bottle babies which we always seemed to have. Of course, I miss the gamboling in the springtime, but getting clobbered by a recalcitrant buck when I turn my back is something I can do without.
Believe me, there is a difference!
I don't have to clean out the odoriferous chicken coop, and I don't have to fret about coyotes getting our geriatric hens � or the ornery rooster (which I named Napolean Boneypart) who always attacked me.
I've got to admit that I condoned the burro and the miniature horses because they had that unmistakable equine odor which overcame the stench of pigeons in the barn. I particularly enjoyed feeding them the windfall apples from our trees. They ate everything, including the rotten ones.
Phyllis said that's what I liked; I never let anything go to waste. She knows how to hurt a guy, but I digress.
I didn't appreciate it when our tiny steeds galloped through open gates, and we had to chase them in our pickup before they reached the hardtop road where whizzing cars could do them in. I never knew Lillputian feet could move so fast.
But that's all behind us now. Phyllis (and I) have adjusted to city life, even though we've had to down-size a lot.
She has her two indoor cats � Baxter and Bailey � to keep her company, and she's got bird-feeders in the birch tree which she can see from the kitchen window.
(At this writing, no birds have shown up � not even the blue jays or sparrows � but hope springs eternal.)
The extra lot out our back door gives Phyllis space enough so she thinks she's in the country. I've threatened to put a double-wide mobile home on it, and she's opted for sheep � but neither one of us would get our way.
We'll have to conform to city codes, so the neighbors can relax. There'll be no hooves on the greensward or buildings unwanted.
As much as we miss the farm, we have accustomed ourselves to life in town � but, needless to say, there is a difference!
� 2005 Robert F. Karolevitz