Science and Free Stuff

I miss writing, but only when I have interesting things to say.  Of course, interesting is in the eye of the beholder, so I apologize if you’re bored to tears.  Or vomit.  Anyway, I like to write when big things are happening, and for me the biggest thing to happen lately is that I live in a house now.  A house with a yard.  A yard with potential.

This past weekend, I got to see the family at the twins’ first birthday party.  I haven’t seen much of the family since Christmas, so it was a good time to catch up and chat and laugh and just be part of a family.  For as much time as I spending working and being all grown uppy (you see what I did there?), getting to feel like a niece or daughter or granddaughter for awhile was just the change I needed to relax.  When I’m with my family, I don’t have to have everything figured out and be super awesome all the time.  I can just be normal and let somebody else worry about me for a change.  It’s utterly refreshing, and I miss it often.

Last time Grandma Millie came down for Thanksgiving, and she and I had a discussion about the woman on the phone who knows your location and tells you which way to turn.  Apparently, Grandma has never used a GPS before.  She was kind of freaked out, so I decided not to let her in on the fact that it’s not a real person, and Google has mapped out the entire earth and knows where everyone is at all times.  She uses her Galaxy tablet to play Solitaire.  I don’t think it would have gone over well.

This time Grandma and I had a nice chat about the garden I’m putting in my new potential-laden yard, and I showed her phone pictures of the little chicks which will soon move out of the basement and into the coop I’m building for them in the shed out back.  I told her excitedly about all the veggies I’d be growing and all the ideas I had for using stuff I already had lying around for the chicken coop conversion.  Yep, it’s gonna cost me virtually nothing, and the shed is an awesome space for a couple of chickies out on the town.  Or in the yard.  Whatever.  I had a very similar conversation with Grandma Jane.  And Aunt Karen.  And Mom.  And they all said the same thing, “Really?  That’s surprising.”

Seriously?  Last year I tried to convince Nick to let me plant a big garden in the yard before I even lived there.  Apparently, my years on the high school Envirothon team studying aquatics (and almost winning State that one time) or the fact that I was given an award for Best Biology Student my senior year couldn’t have prepared them for this shocking news.  Owning more pets than you can shake a stick at.  Spending a summer trying to visit all of Columbus’ 18 or so MetroParks.   Possessing Ohio’s only mint condition collection of zoo mugs.  Camping.  Hiking.  Vehemently denying the existence of my own seasonal allergies.  None of these signs could have predicted that I would enjoy a home grown veggie and a freshly laid egg.

I went off to college almost 12 years ago, and ever since I have lived in dorms and apartments.  Small yards, if any.  No creative control.  So I built my own ecosystems through the awesomeness of self-renewable fish tanks (Seriously, if you set it up correctly, it requires little to no maintenance.  How cool is that?)  I took in strays, nursed sick animals back to health, and found amazingly perfect homes for pets I couldn’t keep myself.  And all that time, all I really wanted was a house.  A yard for the dogs.  A place where I could actually paint the walls and have a reason to compost and convert a garbage can into a rain barrel.  For 12 years I have waited, and now it’s here.

We have only been living in the house for two months, but the plans for house living have been in the making for a long while.  It’s amazing and exciting to actually have them come to fruition.  But it’s been hard work, and I’ve had more than a few blisters and sore muscles.  It’s the good kind of work though, the kind that gets dirt under your nails and callouses on your hands.  It’s the kind of work that makes you part of a much bigger picture.  I’m not just planting a garden.  I’m embracing the fearfully and wonderfully made rules of creation and becoming a part of its process.  I’m not just composting.  I’m giving back what was given to me.  I’m part of something larger than my garden or my yard that’s been in place since the beginning.  For the first time in 12 years, I can actually play my part like I was always meant to.  Plus, I’m gonna get a ton of free stuff.  And people think science isn’t exciting.

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