Beware of the Backyard

Beware of the Backyard

I wanted it to be just our family the first time we unlocked the front door to our very own home. Saturday would be crazy busy as several friends were helping us move into our new house. But Friday night we had a small window of time between Duane getting home from work and before the kids needed to go to bed, so we hurried to pick up the keys to our new house.

I wish I had nostalgic happy feelings as I walked around our empty house and beautiful back yard. Instead, anxiety welled up inside because of one small detail, which left me filled with questions. Have I just made the biggest mistake of my life?

IMG_8577Would we have made an offer on the house if I had noticed the squirrel-feeder full of peanuts in the back yard? Would we have written the check, if I had realized there were peanut shells scattered throughout all the beautiful flower beds? 

I had even commented I hoped we wouldn’t buy a house and then discover the neighbors feed peanuts to squirrels. Nope, it was the previous owners of our house who did just that. I want to feel safe in my own home, so I don’t let anyone bring peanuts into my house, but we just bought a beautiful house with a back yard full of peanut shells. 

Anxiety welled up inside as we drove back to our old house. We put the kids in bed, and I fell asleep wanting to announce, “I am NOT moving into that house!” But we really like the house, and the location, and the price. Not to mention, the boxes where already packed, and the trailer parked in our driveway, ready to be filled. Duane had gotten Saturday morning off work, and friends were planning on coming to help at 9am. Most importantly, we had already bought the house, and these things don’t come with a 30 day return-policy.

The next 24 hours were an emotional rollercoaster as friends helped us move, saying over and over, “aren’t you so excited?” Yes, but… I was completely exhausted from packing up our entire household for the third time in less than 2 years, which is getting increasingly challenging due to the age and quantity of children we have and the stuff they’ve accumulated. I looked forward to unpacking in a house we owned and not moving ever again. But there’s peanuts in my yard, and this is not the usual “we’ll just make due, until we move again,” because we’re not moving again!

IMG_9317While the guys unloaded boxes at the new house, some of the girls cleaned up tons of peanut shells from the corner of the yard nearest the squirrel-feeder. But the only way to get rid of all the peanuts, would be to rip out the ground-cover in the raised bed, and clean up the weird, random pile of rocks (there’s probably a dead dog buried under there). Duane will get to tackle those projects, because I’m not touching it.

The first few days in the new house, I was afraid to venture off the patio. But between the lawnmower and the rain, the grass part of my yard is probably safe. After a couple weeks, I even started going barefoot on the lawn, and I’m still alive! I’m slowly becoming desensitized as I notice yet another peanut shell in a the flower beds. Maybe this situation is actually good for me?

IMG_9316Last week, Duane’s Mom visited and we tackled the corner of the yard where we want to put the food garden. We did lots of digging and raking. I pointed out every peanut shell I found, and Mema collected them and put them in the garbage for me. I don’t know if I can safely eat food grown in peanut-filled soil, nor do I want to dig, plant, or even touch that dirt. So Duane built raised garden boxes, which we will fill with peanut-free dirt.

loaded3It seems ridiculous to be scared to even touch peanut shells, but I don’t want to do something stupid and get myself killed. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s like playing with a loaded gun. So I don’t touch them, and hope the kids don’t mess with them either. The good news is, I can look at them without panicking or even cringing. I’ve been inches away from them, and even taken pictures of them, and so far, I have not been attacked by wild peanuts! It seems all the ones in our yard are immobile and maybe will only attack if provoked. Who knows, maybe they are more scared of me, than I am of them?



My hope is to in inspire and encourage you on your journey to raise healthy, thriving families in spite of the challenges life may bring...Sharing our adventure of navigating parenting and homeschool with the added challenges of TCS  -- A hard of hearing husband & daughter -- Surgeries -- Speech Therapy --  Learning Sign Language --

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