"The van de Walles are coming! We'd better drain the pool!"
Mary and Caitlan hunt for tadpoles and a pair of Koi.
Our dear friends Joe and Mary live on three acres at the Sacramento/Placer boundary, along with some animals, their daughters, and some long-term houseguests. This family practices real-world sustainability everyday. Food scraps go to the chickens, sheep are used to keep vegetation down, the home is patched up rather than torn down and rebuilt all new, they live without air-conditioning, their cars are old but serviceable, and they live debt-free.
"Dad," Caitlan says, as I'm changing out of my swampy clothes (I fell into the pool/pond before it got drained), "You act like this is home, to you."
"Why, what do you mean?"
"Well, you're standing there getting undressed under a towel, after falling into that grodey water, and you're acting like you're happy!"
"I am happy, sweetie. This place just feels good. I like that they care enough about frogs to save them as they drain the pool, getting it ready for summer. I like the Bel*Air market just up the street. I like the middle acre, the 'island,' with all its wild flowers and butterflies. I like how well my kids and their kids play together."
We all took turns falling in to the murky water. The slippery slope was really exactly that: one moment you were fine, the next, your feet slid the tiniest amount and you knew you were going down. Caitlan was best: she kept her footing all the way down into the water, but once she got in deep, her feet came out from under her.
Nicholas said: "This is funnier than comedy!"
I'm not sure what that means, but he's 100% right.