Though we both work several miles south, when I was pregnant with our first child and we wanted to buy a house we were drawn to Olney. We loved the wide, green yards and imagined our family running through sprinklers in the grass. Now we have three kids and a wide green yard and a sprinkler at the end of the hose line but the yard -- nothing really prepared us for a yard to mean anything more than grass.
I'm a city-raised girl and this nature stuff that accompanies the grass, it's really pushing the limits of my comfort. The squirrels are eating my tomatoes and discarding tomato skins in the kiddie pool and an enormous cicada is trying to commit suicide against the panes of the sliding glass door as I type and the bunny rabbits that my daughters find so adorable, I think they're in cahoots with the squirrels. My strawberry plants are de facto just strawberry-leaf plants and I didn't really feel like sharing.
Where I grew up in New York we had bugs, of course. We had crickets. They were little and they chirped and they stayed in the bushes outside. When we moved to Maryland and found ourselves in the company of the local enormous-to-us field crickets, we didn't know what they were. We called them jumping spiders for a year. We knew about the property taxes in Olney; we didn't know about all of the nature stuff that would come to us along with our big, green yard.
That obstinate cicada hasn't found its way inside yet but all evening I've been trying to capture a field cricket that's been chirping in the kitchen. We never hung curtains on the kitchen windows because we love the wide, private view of our big, green yard and I use the little brass hooks that once held the cafe curtain rods to store the baby's bibs. Somewhere in one of those bib pockets is a loud and lonely field cricket. Every time I approach he goes stealth quiet and impossible to locate and when I walk away he cheep cheeps again.
So the truth is, as much as I love the look of our big yard so much suburban nature is capable of completely unnerving me. There's a jumping spider singing in the kitchen and I know I'll hear it mocking me when I try to sleep tonight.
At least the grass looks good.