Jan 4, 2015

The Gate Is Shut.

Yes, I am blogging about a gate. Yes, this has been my intention for quite awhile. But today is the day that I finally remembered to take the pictures that need to go with this blog so today is the most fascinating, "blog about the gate in my life" day :)

Do you have any gates in your life? A gate is a "movable barrier, usually on hinges, closing an opening in a fence, wall, or other enclosure." I have always had the idea in my mind that they are quaint. Often pretty. Very functional. And most times necessary. I loved opening and shutting my garden gate when I had one. But that gate is in the past. I did not have to open and close that gate ALL the time. Now I have a gate in my life that is very important. It protects my parents hard work. It keeps all the veggies, fruit, delicious shrubs, and carefully manicured green grass safe. It must be open and closed most times you leave or come back to the house.

So my parents house is set back from the road. Hidden from view. You drive down the driveway and you come to a gate. I have a love/hate relationship with this gate. This gate does not know that every single day it reminds me about vigilance. It reminds me every single day about the importance of protecting what is important. Protecting what you have worked hard for. I smile at the numerous life lessons this gate teaches me as I get out of my car, open it, drive through, get out of my car, and close it. Sometimes I feel frustrated at this gate but I know the consequences if I leave it open so I never do. Sometimes I wish this gate had a remote control, or a guard, or a secret code you punch in. But it doesn't.

My parents entire property is carefully fenced. They put a lot of work into their yard and their gardens. Which is why weddings, receptions, and senior pictures have all been here. My parents also have an animal loving neighbor who has single handedly built her own little herd of deer....we will refer to her as Snow White to protect the innocent. These deer are SO tame they will eat out of your hand. They are so unafraid of people. They love my parents yard. Very smart deer. They go the neighbors house for the main course and then they often saunter up the hill to attempt dessert at my parents house. The gate must be closed at all times. The minute we lull ourselves into thinking we do not need to close the gate we will be eating our breakfast, lunch or dinner and see a deer head appear where there should not be a deer head.

Every morning when I leave at 6:20 am for work and to take Tatiana to seminary. Rain, snow, sleet, or hail....or even clear skies I must open the gate. It is always dark. So I back up into the turn around then I drive up the hill. I stop and put the car in neutral...I pull up on the parking brake. I usually say something to the effect of "well here I go" to Tatiana and grab my umbrella if necessary, open my door, get out, walk up to the gate, lift the latch, and open both sides. One side you have to walk over to the big rock on the side of the road and make sure the long metal rod rests behind the rock. If you miss this step the gate will sassily swing back and make you feel frustrated. Did I convey to you well enough that I have had experience with this? :)

After both sides of the gate are wide open I get back in the car and drive through the gate. Always make sure to drive far enough so you can close the gates...sometimes you have to get back in the car and move further if you are not attentive. But it is all a character building moment regardless :) When you close the gate you do not have the headlights shining on the gate to light your way so this time when you get out you must grab your enormous flashlight that is always in your car. Take the umbrella again if you need it. And here is the hard part. When you close the gate there is a teeny tiny hollow metal circle that the metal rod has to fit down into and you have to shine the flashlight on the driveway to find it. Trust me you need the flashlight. Once you find the hole you twist the rod into the circle and grab the other side of the gate, latch it, and voila the inconvenience is over. Well that is unless it froze the night before. If it did that be sure to bring a cup of hot water from the house to pour into the hole to melt the water that froze the gate shut. Sometimes there are stray bits of gravel that you must use your fingers to extract out of the hollow circle so the gate will close properly.

What is the opposite of a gate? Wide open, right? A gate is any means of entrance or access. We all have gates in our lives. Sometimes they involve lines we have had to wait in. Sometimes there are tests we had to pass to get through a gate. To me a gate often means progression. Remember for my parents the gate is protection. A guarantee that something will not be harmed. I have vivid memories of animals getting out of our farm gates when I was a kid. So much work to find them and bring them back. They never seem to appreciate that the gates are for their good. Sometimes we look at gates as a nuisance. I can not tell you how awesome it feels to drive straight down the driveway and not have to stop at the gate. I remember having gates to protect my toddlers from stairs they did not understand. Gates are usually for our own good. They send a message. "You shall not pass :)" I do love to say that whenever I can :)

People have been known to crash gates. I dare you to watch an action film that does not involve a gate being crashed into or climbed over in a scrambling manner. There are also gates to get into heaven....so they say.

Do I have gates in my life? Hmm good question not as many as I should have but that would mean I would have to keep track of keys or think of passwords....it much easier to just deal with the pain and trouble that comes when you did not protect yourself the way you should have...right? :) JK

1 comment:

Jo said...

Hello Jen, as always great stories... Hope you are well, I miss you here back east!!