Friday, June 3, 2011


“When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.” Matthew 21:34

It must be hard being a renter.

There is a rent house just across the street from our pasture and in the five years we’ve lived in our current location, the rent house has seen four different families. The last family stayed for two years and had one full-time child and two part-time children.

Anyway, the full-time child was a little younger than my youngest, but that didn’t stop him from climbing over our fence and traipsing over to our house without telling his mom. When she finally got through to him that he just couldn’t run off without telling her, he would stand at the end of his driveway and scream “HEY!!!” to my kids until they went over to talk to him.

He was just getting old enough that she let him come over and into the house a few times to play with my boys, and then they up and moved, reportedly to be closer to the part-time kids who had lots of activities.

Well, last week we began to notice some steady action at the rent house.

Cars. People. Some stray kids.

And we knew that it was close to being occupied. We’ve been through this four times before, you know.

Yesterday the group was trying to get the yard in order (which was quite a task considering it hadn’t been mowed in a month or so) and everyone seemed to be outside.

My 6YO asked, “Can I go over there?”

I told him yes.

He ran around our pasture and sneaked up under a tree in their front yard and just stared at the kids.

So I motioned him back home.

He ran halfway home and then reconsidered and went back to stare some more.

Then he finally came home and said, “They don’t speak English.”

I told him that I bet they do if he would have just asked, and that it was not nice to stare at people.

And so later, Mother on her Lawnmower went over and introduced herself and scoped out the kid situation. Lots of family members helping the eventual renters (whom I did not meet) get the house in order. Four kids, all boys, just stair-stepping my two would be the renter kids.

My kids then felt brave and went over for a rousing game of tag that lasted about an hour. They came home filthy and excited about the new friends they’d made.

Sometimes it is hard to get to know people, but we’ve learned with the renters that you might not have much time, so it is best to jump right in at the start.

We’ve had countless hours of entertainment out of the other renter children, but when they leave, there is always a hole in our lives when we stare at the ominous empty house. When someone new moves in, we now act like we own the place, march right over to introduce ourselves, or just stare (depending on who acts first) because the new family fills a hole in our lives.

Hopefully there will be lots of chicken chasing, fence climbing and games of tag to be shared. Hopefully we will build a sort of kid-swap agreement from time to time. Hopefully they won’t think we’re too overbearing and write us off as the crazy people across the street.

And hopefully it won’t be so bad being this year’s renters.


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