Lessons from the Homestead

There is always something interesting going on at the Utley Homestead.  There was the time the chimney almost fell off the house in a wind storm and the time the tractor slipped out of gear sending us careening down a hillside. Oh, and we mustn’t forget the time we were held hostage in the dog kennel by a rabid raccoon. It’s always something and there is always another lesson to be had. Today was no different. This is what I learned:

  1. Never mow the lawn if you are home alone. You never know what might go wrong.
  2. If the weeds are over a foot tall you might want to check to make sure there is nothing important in there that you wouldn’t want to run over…like an exposed propane line.
  3. Be sure to store important numbers like the propane company in your phone because in a panic you might call the electric company to report a propane leak…or the feed store…or your father who lives in another state.
  4. If you ever do happen to run over an exposed propane line with your lawnmower, make sure you know how to turn the little knobby thingy to shut it off. (See illustration above.) This way the firemen won’t have to show the little lady how she could have done it herself.
  5. Don’t just assume that everyone will believe you when you say, “No really the lawnmower seat was wet when I sat down.” …even if it is true.
  6. Bribing firemen with free fishing privileges is not necessary. Their services are free of charge. The propane company’s services are not.
  7. Finally, there are other good ways to be prepared should a call to the fire department be unavoidable. Like always attempt to be wearing matching socks and never ever leave your bra just lying around the living room. *Hits self in face with palm.*

So that’s what I learned today. Firemen are gone, house is safe for reentry, propane line is repaired and buried, and my blood pressure is back to normal. Oh, I just discovered my underwear drawer was open. Add that to the list of lessons learned. I am mortified.

P.S. Thank you Rivermont Volunteer Fire Department. You guys rock. And yes, the invite to go fishing was genuine. You know where to find me.


About Susan Warren Utley

Susan Warren Utley is a wife and mother living and writing in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her stories are inspired by the unexpected twists and turns of real life and by her muse, a feisty Jack Russell Terrier who occasionally answers to the name of Lucy. View all posts by Susan Warren Utley

19 responses to “Lessons from the Homestead

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