Restoring order

by Katie on March 22, 2009

The Boyer clan is back in Texas, as of 4am CST today, and Brandon and I are on the road to restoring order in our house and work schedules. 
We had a great visit, but one week of only half paying attention to things like mail and bills really gets you behind in the paperwork.  
So far, the only thing they left behind is Mason’s work boots, and the only thing I mistakenly sent to Texas is a bottle of sunscreen, but we’ll see if that tally increases. 
Mason worked all day today making a desert biome for a school project, which coincided nicely with their trip to Arizona. Before they left, my mom and I got some pictures from our jeep trip in the mountains blown up to use as the background in his shadowbox, and he had the rattler from the rattlesnake we killed in the desert. 

He waited until the last minute to collect his “real desert sand” and dug some up in our yard at 4:30 am, right before they left. 

Of course, there had to be a couple of disasters right before they headed out Saturday morning. 
To kick it off on Friday, my dad (with very good intentions) installed an electric wire around the bottom of our dog pen to keep Wilbur from digging out (we’ve had some real trouble with that lately). When he finished, we put Wilbur in the pen, and let him get a good zap to learn it was there. Thinking he had learned his lesson, we let him out for a while. When we went into town later, both dogs had to go in the pen. Wilbur was not excited about getting back in there, and I had to squeeze the gate shut because he was sitting so close. 
We were gone no longer than one hour, and Wilbur had vanished by the time we returned. We still have no idea how he even escaped the wire to get out, but he apparently got the shock of his life from that electric fence, and did NOT want to be in that pen. 
My dad felt guilty about the dog running away, and spent the next four hours searching for him with no luck. We tried to tell him he had done more to keep Wilbur in the pen than we had, but he still felt really bad, and continued to circle our block until dark. Still no sign.
Then on Saturday, they had planned to wake up at 3am, and be on the road at 4, so Brandon and I set our alarm for 3:45. When I stumbled out to say goodbye, everything looked like they were on schedule – bedrooms were empty, lights off, no luggage in the hall. But as soon as I stepped into the dining room, they were all returning inside.
Turns out one of the propane bottles Mason loaded had turned over during the night, and was steadily leaking gas into the truck camper. You could smell it when you opened our front door, and hear it leaking as you approached the truck. Everyone was a bit nervous, since there were three bales of alfalfa also in the truck camper, and Brandon’s truck was parked right beside them – pulling a diesel tank. Brandon did manage to crawl through the truck and turn off the tank, but the gas was heavy in the air. 
Needless to say, they weren’t going anywhere for a while. 
So, at 4:15, I made breakfast for the Boyers (which, looking back, might not have been a good idea, since all the windows were open), got them a cup of coffee, and we had our last bit of quality time together – even though we were all probably incoherent at that hour. 
By 5:00, the gas had cleared enough my dad felt safe starting the vehicle, and we all held our breath as he cranked the engine. 
No explosion, so they piled in and headed east. And we headed back to bed. 
Later that morning, we awoke to a cow in the backyard. But when we went to retrieve her, I spotted Wilbur in the pasture. 
I ran inside hollering to Brandon, “He’s here! He’s back! He’s sleeping in the pasture! He’s right outside!”
Brandon: “Who? Your dad?”
“No, Wilbur! He came back!”
Brandon was less enthused, but I think he’s happy Wilbur is back. He immediately called my dad, to give him some peace about the whole ordeal. 
It certainly has been an adventure with Wilbur since he’s been back. He is still absolutely terrified of the dog pen. It took me several hours Saturday morning to get him to stay in the yard. He kept hunkering back to his hideout in the pasture, and I would have to lure him back with treats and human food. 
We I have had to drag him on a leash to the pen every time they have gone in, and once he gets there, he stands there on his chain (I temporarily cut off the electric wire, so we have him on a chain to make sure he doesn’t skip town again) right at the gate, and refuses to even eat his treat. He tucks his tail in and starts shaking when he sees me walk outside with the leash, and looks the same the next morning when I let him out. 
It’s pretty pathetic, and I feel bad for him. Brandon tells me I’m getting “soft”.  
Anyway, it was a great week with the Boyers, and even the “disasters” turned out just fine. Looking forward to getting back to work now! 
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