Amanda Hopper Writes

A writer's tale of living and working in the country.


After a long evening of sweeping to prepare for the installation of insulation, I finished loading up the car. Grant and his friend locked up the shed and began walking toward me.
“Grant, I need the keys.” I shouted.
A look of horror came over Grant’s face.
“You did not lock the keys in the shed.” A demand, not a question.
“Oh no!” Grant wails.
Grant starts naming off names of friends who can come rescue us, all of them out of state on business trips or vacations.
“Run next door and see if they have anything to cut the lock.” I bark.
Meanwhile my brain is working overtime trying to think of a way out of this pickle I now find myself in. The sun is setting, and I have with me four little boys who will, no doubt, become unglued in the coming darkness. There are lots of things that go bump in the night in the country, both hot and cold blooded.
I look up to see Grant sprinting across the field.
“He’s coming to help!” He yells.
Sure enough, truck headlights flood the driveway and help has arrived. The neighbor gets the shed open, I will not reveal what he did, let’s just say it was easier than expected. A good thing for retrieving lost keys, but not so good for keeping the items in the shed safe. After we profusely thanked our rescuer he asked what I thought of the new calf (remember that the calf is still in his back pasture). I acknowledged that it was really neat to see.
“Yeah, she’s pretty cool” he replies.
“I was there right after she was born and the cows let me pet her.”
I thought the calf was a boy. Now, to save myself some humiliation, I have only seen the baby from far away, so I will have to defer to the neighbor who has seen her up close. A girl is cool too, we get to keep her for future calving if she is of good temperament and form. And we get to name her a non-food name.
A friendly farmer-man saved us again, and we drove home with the new knowledge of our newest family member. I went to sleep expecting tomorrow to be a good day.
Then I woke up.
To smoke that is .
Sam was attempting to make toast. He had actually brought me toast in bed while I was barely awake (I know… he is awesome), so the smell of smoke sent me flying into the kitchen ten minutes later. The toast had gotten stuck in the toaster, the boys had taken care of it, and I instructed them to open the windows to keep the smoke alarm from going off.
Where is the smoke alarm?
I look up to see the smoke alarm engulfed in smoke and utterly silent.
That’s comforting.
House update:
The roof is on, the fireplaces are in, and the painting is complete. The drywall was delivered yesterday and the insulation goes in Monday. We have decided to go with granite counter tops instead of soapstone, Andy is convinced that soapstone plus three little boys equals disaster. So we found a beautiful compromise and are now trying to figure out what to put on the fireplace surrounds.

1 Comment

  1. The house is looking very beautiful!

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