jennifer John Nathan

May 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Nathan Lives Out Back

John the hubby is a bit of a mechanic. He learned while being a maintenance man at the camp and conference center we used to live at. He ate it up, worked diligently, and as a result can do many a minor to medium sized car repair. His services are often sought out by my familia, especially in the brake department. He has changed brakes on six or seven cars between my parents and siblings. He just finished doing the brakes on my Dad’s second car in the last couple of years. Yesterday he disappeared to the garage for a couple of hours, performed the works (I am told it needed new rotors, pads and calipers) and then declared them completed.

My Dad and Stepmom were to pick it up last night, but my Stepmom has been recovering from a minor medical procedure. Combine that with some wicked seasonal allergies and she was down for the count. So Dad called and said they would try to stop by tonight.

As I awoke feeling not so good due to an aftereffect of a virus I had been fighting, John stayed home to care for the little boys and let me rest. But we did indeed have to trek the thirty minutes to my primary care physician to check me out and make sure this wouldn’t change the course of treatment. Got the okay from the doctor, ran some more blood work to make sure the good old sluggish immune system is handling everything alright. But hubby was home, we were already all piled into the SUV, and Stepmom was still feeling under the weather as well. So we decided to just drop the other car off at their house, only about 4 miles from ours.

I drove the family SUV, complete with baby #4 (Eli), and boy #3 (Nathan). We start down one of the side roads and up ahead across the road bounds a deer. I brake, as I am a born and raised country girl. I have had the added lessons of a country driver when I was a new sixteen year old automobile operator. When there is one deer, there are usually two. So I wait and number two leaps out of the woods and across. I wait some more and then press lightly on the gas, only to slam the brake right away as an unexpected deer number 3 emerges and follows the others.

We cautiously, but uneventfully, continue down the road. I look in the rear view mirror and ask Nate the Great in my Mommy tone, what animal did we just see? His reply almost induced another round of braking…

“Nate, what animals did we just see?”
“A kangaroo?”
“Yep, and a giraffe, it was spooky!”

Okay, in a way I can see the kangaroo. I have to admit, I don’t know about the giraffe! I do get the spooky, as evidenced by the pounding heart that ensued. But he repeated over and over his analysis to both his Daddy and his Nana when we met up at Nana and Pop Pop’s house. He is absolutely positive that is what he saw.

I have since determined that the in-town breed of young man that I am raising do not get the same experiences as the young Jennifer growing up next to a farm. At the age of three I was standing on the porch, opening the screen door and telling the “boys” to come on in. I was yelling at the cows in the field next door. I just had not realized that although my sons are growing up only a few miles from where I did, they do not get the same experiences of watching the deer eat the fallen apples under the twisted limbs of the ancient trees.

It is a lesson to me that we must take more hikes and less trips to the mall. More nature and less electronic media. Either that, or I am left with a boy like Nathan who apparently thinks he lives down under and a trip across town is like an outback adventure!


  1. Alright!! I’m coming to live by you!! You have a whole ZOO in your back yard!!

  2. We have an abundance of kangeroo and giraffe around here too. I’d agree that they are very scary creatures when they jump out on the road like that!

  3. Ya gotta love the country. I not only slowed down but stopped for not just deer number 1 but also #2 & #3 on my way home from work a couple weeks ago. Then as I scan the sides of the road, three more deer are waiting to cross the road in the middle of the rural village of Maplewood. Then a couple days later as I enter my small neighborhood I had to stop again and wait as three deer are walking right down the middle of the street. I guess they cleaned out some neighbor's bird feeder and were looking for more hand out foods.

  4. What a funny story. I love outdoor life… I just hate the outdoors. I think I’ll stick with the National Geographic Channel or maybe Animal Planet.

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