Storm has passed, but not the craziness

I?d say it?s been a quiet month, but you?d have to take it with a grain of salt. Of course, compared to last month and the microburst that hit us head on, just about anything is quiet.

We?re starting to whittle down the piles of limbs (ha!), we?ve located the chickens, and fixed the horse fence. I?ve been gunning for possums that seem to think that we?re running a bed and breakfast, what with all the nice brush to hide under and chickens to eat. So far, I?ve gotten two. The biggest, nastiest one is still lurking around, but not for long.

Knitting fever has me firmly in its grasp. I find odd skeins of yarn insisting that I start them right now, regardless of the fact that I?m already working on five other projects. At least the kids can distract me.

And distract they do. It probably doesn?t help that I show them things like the ?Ministry Of Silly Walks? and ?Dead Parrot? sketches from the old Monty Python show, or encourage them in their endless quest for the perfect Super Secret Clubhouse.

The boy just went tearing through the house tonight, stopping only to inform the world at large that his body was ?born to TWIST!? The girl is, no doubt, laying awake thinking of new strategies whereby she can win next time we play Exploding Kittens (don?t worry, it?s a card game!).

Please, if anyone happens to see them with a copy of either ?The Anarchist?s Cookbook? or a Patrick F. McManus collection of short stories, confiscate it immediately. They have enough ideas as it is.

Dearest husband?s new hobby is also pretty quiet, or at least quieter than I expected it to be. He?s taken up fruit impressions. By which I mean dangling from trees. He?s wanted to take up the pursuit for quite a while, and the recent arboreal devastation seems to have given him the incentive he needed to spur him into it.

The nice guys who came out to remove the limb from our power line were kind enough to tell him where to get a climbing harness, so off he trotted to equip himself. He came home with a nifty belt thingy, a whole bunch of rope, and a book.

Never one to shirk research, he read the book from cover to cover. He said he learned quite a bit from it. I was still a bit dubious after hearing that the salesman informed him that he shouldn?t tighten down the legs on his harness all the way, since a sudden slip could burst a femoral artery and cause him to bleed out internally. Oh joy. So, armed with his newfound knowledge and equipment, he gleefully set out to put his new hobby into action.

I, of course, had entertained the thought of selling tickets, or at the very least, recruiting a bunch of friends to help hold the trampoline underneath him. At least the proceeds from tickets would have gone to defray any possible medical costs.

Did I mention that he didn?t just want to hang from trees like a lovely orange, apple, or kumquat? Oh heavens no. He wanted to hang from trees with a chainsaw. Ostensibly, it was to remove problem limbs, but I confess to contemplating the possibility that he might be experiencing extreme sports withdrawal. After all, driving the ancient tractor and splitting logs by hand has to become old hat at some point.

In the interest of fostering a sense of excitement, I agreed he could even let go and go swinging from the rope while doing his best Tarzan yell. Once. More than that, and I was going to call the ambulance.

To his credit, he waited until we had friends over. I know he was just itching to try it, but at least he delayed until I either had emotional backup or an additional cleanup crew.

One of us had just drawn an Exploding Kitten (the card game, remember?) when my beaming husband swept through the door and asked us if we wanted us to come watch him climb a tree. Off we trooped, following my jingling spouse to his chosen target. He?d gotten his rope positioned already (no doubt to spare us the shivering through unfruitful attempts). He snapped on, took a deep breath, and up he went. Then the other foot came off of the ground. We cheered dutifully.

About four feet off the ground, I was truly impressed. He was horizontal. If I would have been him, I?d have been upside-down yelling my fool head off. He gradually returned to vertical and continued to ascend. Miraculously, there was no swinging, yelling or screaming. Of course, there was no chainsaw yet either.

So for now, my fears and doubts are calmed, and quiet reigns supreme on the farm. If anyone hears something in the next few weeks from our general direction that sounds like Johnny Weis?muller met the Texas Chain?saw Massacre, take it as a sign that fruit impressions aren?t generally a good hobby to try. Underwater basket weaving might be safer.

Shana Thornhill lives on farm near Marion. She can be reached at

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