the Burr King: Week #17 – Wed, 9/30

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According to my friend Susie, whose family is from Syria, an Arabic curse is to wish someone a home that is always clean. While a clean house may seem desirable on the surface, if it is always clean, it means your life is not full with children, friends, and/or family visiting your home, making it messy. The curse of a tidy house translates to the curse of a boring life.

Susie, whose house is always cleaner than mine, lovingly reminds me of this curse when I am embarrassed that my house is not clean.

My house is by no means a pit, but it is definitely one lived in by three children and two farmers. I seldom can walk down the hall to my bedroom without kicking or stepping over something a child has left there  – a shoe, a jacket, a half-completed art project. As long as dishes and counters get clean, I can find things because they are somewhat organized, toilets aren’t gross, my kids have clean clothes, and my bare feet don’t get dirt sticking to them – I call it good.

When I feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of housework and think about how messy my house looks in the eyes of others, I remember the Arabic curse and it makes me feel better.

Needless to say, I appreciate it when a babysitter takes pity on me and cleans out my microwave or sweeps my floor. I am never offended.

This is how I felt about our dog Pepper, upon his return from his Grandma’s house this past weekend. Our nuclear fam went on a last minute camping trip to Wildcat Mountain State Park in the Driftless (gorgeous!), and my mom graciously agreed to take Pepper. I apologized up front about his burr situation – brushing his fur is another endless, pointless Sisyphean task akin to keeping my house spotless. But I realized she might not be so happy about his burrs catching on her furniture.

She shrugged it off, saying she’d figure it out.

She must have spent so long brushing him! When he came home he looked like a different dog – an English Shepherd show dog with flowing, sleek, shining fur. The girls and I couldn’t believe how soft hew was and fun it was to pet him!

Then I took him out to the fields with me and after one bunny chase into the woods approximately two minutes into our walk, he looked like this:

He was so happy to be home in the woods and fields where he could chase things, his fur a total mess. Perhaps there is an Arabic curse that applies to messy but happy dogs?

For now, we just call him the Burr King – a name aptly donned by our 5 year old.

Cheers and enjoy your veggies!
Farmer Cassie