Living in the country has many advantages, not the least of which is the lack any formal dress code. When you're 50 to 100 yards off the road and your closest neighbor is twice that distance, what you're wearing doesn't matter much. Now as far as I know, there are not 'clothes police' in the cities and suburbs yet, but when homeowners associations routinely tell you what you can (and cannot) park in your driveway and what color you can (and cannot) paint your house ...well, a dress code doesn't seem that far fetched.
My day job during the week is a 40 mile commute and requires that I'm up before the chickens and gone by first light. So, on the weekends, the first thing on my agenda is sleeping in. The advantage to a 5:00 a.m. wakeup time during the week though is that even without setting the alarm, we wake up around 7:00 a.m. and feel like we've had a real treat. And yet 7:00 a.m. is still early enough to beat most city slickers to town if you have errands to run. So on Saturdays and Sundays, we don't set the alarm and whoever wakes up first usually does the outside chores. This morning, Yeoldfurt woke up first and I must have been really tired because I didn't hear him at all. Instead, the first sounds that registered for me this morning were three loud blasts of a shotgun, definitely outside but not far from our bedroom window.
There was a time when that might have startled me, might even have scared me a little or at least got my adrenaline up. But I've been married to Yeoldfurt for nearly a decade now and it takes more than a '20-gauge' alarm clock to stir my juices in the morning. My first thought was "I wonder what he's shooting." My second thought, "Oh, Lord, I hope it's not another skunk." I'm dreading the day when one of these polecats is gonna 'shoot' back and hit Yeoldfurt or the dog. It may not be lethal, but it's sure gonna stink! Sooner or later, it's bound to happen.
I got up, got dressed and wandered out the back door to find Yeoldfurt sitting on the bench on the patio, our good ol' dog sitting next to him on one side and his trusty 12-gauge on the other side. He was wearing only his briefs and a pair of moccasins, smoking a cigarette with the slow satisfaction of a man who had just dispatched yet another pesky varmint. I said, "What were you shooting?" (No need to ask if he hit it, he always does.) He smiled and said, "A skunk up in the front paddock. I'll take care of it later." I smiled back and said, "Uh-huh ...and did you go traipsing after that skunk in your boxers?" He looked down at his own scantily-clad lap and grinned and said, "Uh-huh."
I wish I'd had a camera with me. Both he and the dog looked so pleased with themselves. I could tell this was just a hunky-dory way to start the day as far as those two were concerned. I gave a kiss and then laughed and said, "Well you've got to be a redneck if you're shootin' skunks in just your boxers and moccasins." And, with that, I went back in the house to figure out my day.