Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Slabs & Walls

When we were building our house (well, ok, when Bobby the builder was building our house, I didn't lift so much as a hammer the whole time -- that's it there on the right if you're interested), we were convinced it was going to be too small when we saw the foundation. Apparently that's not unusual, most people think the slab's too tiny on first viewing. But as soon as they put up the walls and sheetrock, it seemed plenty big. Super big. Ginormous. Isn't it weird that sometimes, putting up walls can make it seem like we have more space than when things are wide open?

I think rules are kind of like walls. They seem to hem us in, but often they give structure and shape to life, giving us a greater sense of freedom than if we had no rules at all.

For example, I've been feeding the horses and donkeys for a couple of weeks because my wife Annie has been sick (allergies turned into bronchitis, Texas cedar is utterly evil). There are lots of rules for feeding the animals -- Toby the horse gets TWO scoops of oats, but the other two get only one and a half. You have to maneuver the two standard donkeys separately so they get more feed than the miniature donks. They have to get hay with every meal or they colic. Separate Avalon from the other horses or they fight. Don't let Major the dog out with Flash the other dog or they get mad at each other.

You get the idea. LOTS of rules to follow and if you don't SOMETHING MIGHT DIE!!!1!1

But I got to thinking that it's no different in the tech world I live in by day. HTML (or any other coding language) also has rules, lots of them. Leave out a tag and all kinds of inappropriate things can happen. Misplace a decimal and a NASA space probe gets lost on the way to the planets.

I get put out sometimes by all the rules I have to follow and walls I encounter in both worlds, but without them I suspect my life would feel as small and cramped as that slab in the middle of the pasture, without shape or ability to hold warmth and love.

Update: The photo on this entry is courtesy of my cousin, Jill Phenix Avila.


Jill Phenix Avila said...

Okay Jeffrey! I know I am small and easy to forget but where is the mention of your photographer?

Jeff Hebert said...

You're right, I need to fix that! Plus how else would anyone know whose dog that was on the front porch?

For all the world to see from this point forward:

The photo of the house on this entry was taken by my most excellent and gorgeous cousin, Jill Phenix Avila. Thanks Jill!