|Murphy, Aloysius and some of the hens|
The past few weeks has seen a few goodbyes, some intentional, some an unwelcome surprise.
It looks like we've had a repeat customer. Whoever ate Jelly Bean a few weeks back returned and stole Aloysius from us. I noticed his absence early after a strangely quite morning devoid of repeated crowing. Though he was starting to act like a rooster, harassing the hens and occasionally pretending he was going to spar with someone, he was pretty well liked. And unlike our second rooster, Robbie who was a coward (he let twenty hens get eaten before he went missing) and a bully (he would stalk me across the property to spur my legs when I wasn't paying attention and also loved kicking little kids in the back--what a jerk), Aloysius did a pretty good job watching over the flock and making our farm feel a bit more quaint with his random crows.
|Claire trying to untangle a skiddish Murphy.|
I have also been debating lately whether or not to cull our animal population. With a move at the end of the year most likely imminent, I've been trying to figure out the logistics of moving a small herd of animals. I decided to go ahead and place an ad for Murphy on Craigslist. Though he was handsome like his father, Magnus, he had become too much to handle. Remember the Skip It toy? He was an extreme version for anyone who walked too close. He'd tear around like a pride of lions was after him and if someone didn't jump over his line, he'd knock them flat on their backs. I felt a twinge of sadness going out in the early morning to load him into the truck. Then he managed to whip my hand with the end of his line, leaving a bloody bruise with a tender, swollen hematoma on my hand. It was a stinging confirmation that I'd made the right decision. A Hispanic family bought him for his wool, so he will have a fairly easy life after living here with us.
We are getting close to saying farewell to our big red barn. Like the house, it was in sad shape when we bought the property and without thousands of dollars, we were unable to save it. It will live on though in our house--we have used it for everything from our kitchen floor to our stairway banister, decorative support beams and homemade crafts. We've also been selling truckloads to all kinds of people who appreciate the history behind the structure. The wood has been bought for everything from crafts to furniture making and decorative walls. One man even took a truckload to use in an indie music video he was directing. Most of the barn wood will find a good home after we pull the edifice down in a week or two.
This is the last week the Story City antique carousel is open. It has been restored down to the last detail and has been thrilling our family since Evelyn could sit up. It's not a tame shopping mall carousel either--it goes high and fast to the old-timey tunes of an old music box and banging drum. This year we even went ahead and bought a pass since the girls enjoy it so much. It will be sad to leave such a beautiful, fun and unique part of Iowa history that's only ten minutes from us.
I think I'm getting nostalgic before we've even left but when I'm not rushing to finish the next work project, I frequently tear up, thinking how much I'll miss this place when we move on. For now, we'll just try and enjoy it and make the best of our goodbyes.