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Who Left the Gate Open

When the phone rings before 7:00 A.M. at our house on a weekday, it can only mean one thing. Ok, two things. The school calls on snow days to inform the kids school has been cancelled. If the weather is good and we get an early morning phone call, the llamas and/or yaks are out.

Yesterday, we received one of those phone calls. Of course, we couldn’t answer it. We have three cordless phones. Two of which usually have dead batteries and one is hiding in the couch cushions. Caller ID on the base unit alerted us a neighbor was calling.

Elaine went to the window. All the llamas were out of their pasture, feeding at the haystack. At least they stayed near home.

Yaks will push on a gate or fence until they have pushed it down. That’s how they get out. Llamas aren’t that ambitious. When the llamas get out it means someone didn’t latch the gate. Ivy will gladly tell you, that someone is usually me. Ivy keeps track of how many times our family members have let the llamas out. I am the big winner in this contest. Me,17 open gates; Elaine, 5; Ivy, 2. The twins are not very good at this game. They have not left a gate open, YET.

I knew the shower had to wait. It was 23 degrees outside. That meant Elaine and Ivy would need to get coats, boots, gloves and hats. I was already dressed, gym shorts and T-shirt. I did need to put on a coat and shoes. I headed outside to start the roundup.

I don’t think the neighbors saw me. It wouldn’t really matter. Some of them have been scratching their heads since the moment they met me. The day I met one of my neighbors eight years ago, he told me, “Hey, you have short pants; you can’t wear short pants up here.” There are times I should have listened to him, but that would mean I would need to replace my wardrobe. I just can’t see myself doing that.

In my construction life, some thirty plus years ago, I was working as a carpenter building houses for a local developer. I was in charge of a crew of 4-6 carpenters. (I mention that because I have not kicked my ego problem.) One of the carpenters on the crew was ten years older than me. He was one of the most unique men I have met in my life. Whenever our work involved lifting something heavy or needed to be done with a sense of urgency, “Al” would head off to use the restroom.

Over the years I have shared “Al” stories with my family. I always thought the family was bored with the stories. Seems they were listening.

As I headed outside with gym shorts, coat and shoes, one of my family members announced they were going to the restroom.

The llamas allowed me to be the Pied Piper of llamas and they all followed me into their pen. With the llamas’ safe in their pen, I headed into the house and passed the new “Al” as they were coming out to help.

I always thought I bored my family with “Al” stories. Seems they were listening and learning. And I thought they never listened to me!

Our crazy lives!


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