Thursday, June 18, 2009

Home on the (firing?) range...

I have loved this military man of mine for nearly twenty years. As a young lieutenant’s bride, I learned to identify the assorted vehicles (yeah, I was probably the only one who could tell tank from howitzer, jeep from humvee and which helicopter was buzzing our roof). I learned the phonetic alphabet and rank structure of the army. I could decipher the LES and navigate the acronym jungle. I learned protocol and etiquette (and even taught a class on it!). I have moved from Dan to Beersheba upon receipt of orders, and sometimes alone. I have watched my man receive the praise of men with humility and lead with integrity. I have always known he was top notch…the cream of the crop, so to speak. For over 17 years, I have been his adoring bride, liebe frau, portion in life and helpmeet. In all those years, I have never seen him fire a weapon. Carry one, yes. Fire one, never. My officer is a gentleman and that is all I have known…until last night. He did me proud again.

Baxter, our farm collie, earned his stripes last night. Barking to beat the band or wake the dead, he alerted us to an intruder. I believe the mystery of recent low egg counts has been solved. We had a thief. Despite the protestations of Baxter and an invitation to depart without harm, there he stayed like a coward, hiding in the chicken coop. It was obvious he had no intentions of leaving. We had no other choice. So, there in the dark, flashlight in one hand and Grandpa’s rifle in the other, my man made a quick end of that little stinker. Right there in the chicken coop, with the chickens even. He didn’t even ruffle their feathers. Quick as lightning and just as loud. Praise God for my excellent marksman and that he was home when this happened (for once, hallelujah). I certainly don’t see me doing it in my matronly state. As I stood there on the porch in my jammies, I thought “oh good, he got Pepe Le’Pew before he sprayed.”

Ever meet a plebe after the first summer of training or a soldier returning from weeks in the field? I have welcomed my man home graciously and thankfully with hugs and kisses no matter how he looked or smelled. He came in last night and said “I don’t stink do I?” I said OH MY GOODNESS! Thank you kindly, but leave your clothes at the door! Praise God for a southerly breeze this morning. And praise Him some more for a wash house separate from the farmhouse. As one of our little ones would aptly say, “Sheoooooweee!” And I thought the gunfire blew me away!


  1. Play with the hogs and you are going to get muddy.
    Play with the skunks and you are going to .....

    The first rule of shooting skunks!

    What I really want to know is: How did the cheese making project turn out?

  2. Well, PapaB, he didn't stink until he disposed of the critter. ;-)

    The cheese was really good! We made fresh mozzarella and ricotta. Haven't done it since, because Sam keeps drinking all the milk! It is much easier than one might expect. Want to try it?

    Give NanaB a big hug for us! Joshua, Jonathan and Emily say thank you for the birthday cards!

    Love you both,

  3. How to dispose of a dead skunk? That's a problem I hadn't thought about previously. Maybe a long pole with a hook or loop at the end?

    The opossums and racoons were only egg theives I remember my father disposing of when I was growing up. He generally used a live trap near whereever they had created an entrance or exit to the chicken coops. Obviously that would not work too well with a skunk....

  4. Hey there Providence Farms. This is Erin Kelley from Richmond Magazine. I sent an e-mail from your website on and just wanted to make sure I tried to contact you in every way!
    Look forward to hearing from you,

  5. Erin again! As a side note, I'm not sure who Jacqueline is - it just popped up after I pressed post comment.