Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.
~ Sam Ewing
Nothing like outdoor square footage to trip up the tax appraisers. This lovely, fully functional kitchen addition isn't taxable and doesn't come with a dish washer... unless you count the 12 year old little girl that used to live there before the rest of the house was built.
Yes - this was my kitchen in the year I was 12; complete with scorpions and tarantulas... and the odd raccoon or fox on a rare occasion. And then there was the cactus garden nearby that needed weeding every few months. And the outdoor bathroom (yurt) we had to use (you can better believe I lifted the seat on that toilet before I sat down to check for fuzzy creepies). And my tent needed tidying up before school (yes, I said TENT).
After the rest of our eclectic home was built and an indoor kitchen was hooked up, I continued to wash dishes the old fashioned way... but at least I could do it indoors.
I look back on my life in the Texas Hill Country and feel sorry for all those kids in suburbia who have never tasted real work... have never learned about nature from being up close to it and truly listening and watching... have never seen a silver fox making off with the trash in the fire pit... haven't heard a whippoorwill call in the evening...
I wouldn't have traded all those dishes I washed or weeds I pulled for an easy life in front of an XBox. Well, maybe at the time, it would have been tempting. A 12 year old does have her limits. However, I found in maturity that there's a satisfaction in nature and working hard that no amount of materialism and leisure can provide. It is the rare kid who learns it early on. It's all too common now days for kids to become adults without ever learning it at all.
I hope I can give my kids the same understanding - despite the fact that we do own an XBox (not mom's idea). They may hate me for chores today, but I know what kind of good the chores are doing on the inside. If only we could buy a small farm.
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