Two years ago a man who was approximately mid-life-aged married a mid-life aged woman whose self-described “second litter” of children were still in middle school. Not only did they form a new family, but they began a quest to enrich their lives.
After searching in Crescent, Luther, and a few other places within a reasonable distance of their home, they received a call from a realtor who was driving to Pink, Oklahoma the next day. She needed to put her signs up at a newly listed 40-acre section of land and thought it might be just the place they were looking for.
The following day, newlyweds David and Tammy drove to Pink, and the property owner piled the prospective buyers into his pickup. He drove them up and down the gently sloping land pointing out a spring-fed creek, an old schoolhouse foundation, the well originally dug for the schoolhouse, and other historical or anecdotal features.
That night, the couple made an offer on the land and they’ve been pouring their heart, soul, energy, ideas, sweat, and money into the place for eighteen months.
Within a week of the purchase they had parked a bulldozer in the high corner section, ready to dig a pond. On one of their frequent date nights to Lowe’s, The Tractor Supply Store, and Home Depot they noticed a sign announcing a “Farm Pond Fish” ordering event. Within a few short weeks, a balanced inventory of fish were delivered to their barely completed pond.
In eighteen months, with David visiting their land three times a week, they had grown their basement foundation into the porch of a beautiful, high-approach home. Dozens of chickens are now at the location and a neighbor is keeping five (soon to be seven) Jersey cows until their pasture is ready. A garden is up, a brush-hog is on the property, and the two children now have metal detectors they received as Christmas gifts to explore the old schoolhouse site.
This home in Pink, Oklahoma serves as a Camp David, of sorts. It’s a retreat. A reprise. A place where they can work their muscles and relax on the weekends. A place for their children to roam.
But it’s one more thing too.
Their home in Pink, Oklahoma is now the home of Charlie, a stray dog who visited them while they were drafting blueprints for their home very early on. Charlie made herself comfortable, and now guards the property during the week while the family takes care of their responsibilities in the city. Charlie stands watch on her porch; she has a ready supply of dog food and a collar. She greets strangers like us who drive up the driveway of this newly-shaping homestead, and who pet her tummy and head because she’s so dang sweet.
So, the new husband and wife, and their teenage children, and the cows and chickens, and newly-built home, the old schoolhouse, and their dreams and hopes and all that they’ve invested…are guarded every day by Charlie, the stray dog who decided the family wasn’t quite done.
The new family now owns a dog. And, the dog thinks their family is complete.