In September of 1992, we bought a small log cabin north of Questa, NM, on the mountain side of the valley. It was very small and only had an Avery wood stove for heat. I remember it being a beautiful fall that year - not much need for that stove. It was probably about this time of year that the kids and I piled into our Dodge truck and took Toby to Albuquerque to catch a plane. On our way home the weather turned rough with a cold front. By Santa Fe, I was getting worried about the roads. We made it to Taos okay, but north of Taos was slow going due to the snow. I had never had to drive the Dodge in the snow - I had never had to lock up the hubs for four-wheel drive. It was worrisome, but we managed. Once we were home, I had to start a fire in that stove - another thing I had never done. I managed that too. The next morning the dog came in with a mouth full of porcupine quills. When I called our friend, John the vet, he told me to get some pliers and pull them out. I put my big girl panties on and managed that too. It all made me feel like a real mountain girl. I also thought, "Why the heck do these things happen when Toby is gone?"
Since then, I could tell you lots of stories of crazy things that have happened while Toby was away. Yesterday I was reminded of that feeling. Toby left for Houston on Sunday afternoon and a cold front blew in on Monday night. The good news is that the temps have been pleasant - no snow like in NM. I'm glad, 'cause I didn't want to have to light the heater. An extra quilt and a snuggly rat terrier worked fine. First thing Tuesday morning, Frankie, the cat, barfed on the couch. Although I tried not to look, I'm pretty sure he had eaten a mouse or possibly a rat. It was not good. Then I looked out the window in time to see Jack, the red heeler, dragging up a dead armadillo. Great. I spent the rest of the morning cleaning out the fridge, because it smelled like something died in there, too. Since my animals love dead things, I fed them lots of left-overs from the fridge. I think we have all the stink taken care of now. But why do these things happen when Toby is away?
Another thang, Toby called me with a list of things he thought up for me to do while he was away. His business meeting must have been pretty dull, 'cause he had lots on his list for me. Then Jesse called and said she needed me to search for her lost and overdue library book. And could I bring it to her on Thursday? I searched her room, but did not find the book. I texted her for hints to the location of the book. She gave me a few more places to look. I still did not find it, and texted her saying as much. She then text (ed?) back that she had found the book in WF. Does my family think I have nothing to do? Then there was the time Toby left and said, "I need you to give that cow a shot..." or the time he said, "You and Jesse need to take that cow to the vet today - just load her in the goose-neck trailer..." What about the time he sent and email asking me to put anti-freeze in the bulldozer? Secret Agent Farmhand has lots of stories.