Thursday, September 03, 2009

Country. Kinda long.

Since I can't remember what I did with the articles I was going to write about, and yesterday's post sucketh, yea, verily, I am going to write about a topic.

Country, as it relates to me. I know I am in the country because...

When I was growing up, Santa wore rubber boots. When you were young, and you asked the older kids, you were told it was so he could make it through (a local neighbor's place near the school) dairy farm. When you were older, you figured out Santa WAS the neighbor at the dairy farm. If you were older and had a better imagination, you told the kids that Santa came to school right after cleaning out Rudolf's stall.

If you were a smart aleck kid, you mentioned scours...

I plead the fifth...

Missed dinners because of neighbor's needing a calf pulled (occasionally it was our calf. We had a very friendly neighbor bull, and he tended to be much stronger than our fences.) Mud up to your (ahem) because the calf of this bull found any way possible to get OUT of the fence and get in the garden. Usually when my dad was gone, and most neighbors might or might not be able to help. It was usually raining cats, dogs, and assorted golden hamsters, too.

I am not a vegetarian. That was one tasty cow. Revenge is sweet.

Fishing with my grandparents, and learning how to cast without getting line in the tree, cleaning fish, how to put a worm on the hook, not the hook in a finger... (Most of the time, anyway), and finding that fish just seems really cool to take pictures of when you are nearly the same size as they are... (I was fairly small when they first started taking me to fish.)

Glorious battles with wooden swords made from garden stakes, and whips from willow branches, fought on a sheep loader, which would be either a grand castle, or more likely, because of its shape, a mighty ship.

Practicality invaded my later years. Having no animals to load, my dad converted it to a ramp to work on cars. I then decided it was a great starting point for my go cart. I think I wore out that poor cart, I know Dad and I tore it down and fixed it at least twice before things in it just flat dropped out when we opened it up.

Having more animals nearby than other kids. Might explain a lot, now that I think about it.

Trying to use a St. Bernard for pulling a sled.

Trying to stop a St. Bernard, after you get him started running.

Sitting in church, and having most of the men leave in unison, because the volunteer firemen had a call out. (If you didn't hear the Plectron in the back, the pastor would usually announce it.)

Having nearly no males, and sometimes a paucity of females at church, during deer season.

Neighbors that we'd trade with, giving us venison. Or a good story of why they didn't HAVE venison that season. (Amazingly, it never seemed to have anything to do with the keg of beer that was brought along...)

Mom's venison chili. I could hardly wait when she was making that...

Neighbors that were in their late 90's that could tell me about things like what dirigibles were like, walking to school, getting water at school from a spring in a bucket, and sharing it with a tin cup, horse drawn buggies, then to cars, then to hearing about the moon landing, (that he thought was just nonsense and a waste of effort...) and how to plant (which I will add, when I remember the details, works like a charm), and always having someone around that seemed to know a little about almost everything. I wonder what they would have thought of the Internet.

Sheep being born, then getting to help dry them, and have the newborn try and nuzzle your finger, as you are trying to show it mama sheep's teat.

Climbing in the hay and finding kittens. Then needing to tear down one of the walls of the hay barn, to find a kitten that fell down inside.

Feeding the cows. One rattle of grain in a coffee can had them racing across the field to the barn. If we were making applesauce or canning corn, they would get the waste, which was almost a sure bet to see cattle battles. Cows have flat heads. They tend to use this like a bulldozer, to push another cow out of the way. The other cow responds alike, and soon you have two cows grunting and pushing, and bawling because they can't get to the goodies. So the aforementioned calf walks up and gobbles down as much as he can, as fast as he can, leaving two exhausted, annoyed, and slightly concussed cows.

Even now, I still know that I will see neighbors that will stop in the road to have a conversation with another neighbor. Sometimes we might have 3 or 4 vehicles, a regular town meeting, just because someone met someone headed to/from town.

Horse riding as a means of transport, as much as pleasure.

Hay balers, seed trucks. Fertilizer trucks. Irrigation pipe.

Vivid rainbows as the water is sprayed over the plants in the field.

The unmistakable aroma that occurs when the water being sprayed over the field is GREEN. Yeah, living near cows has some... Realities.

Wild animals nearby. Hearing coyotes sing. Seeing wild turkey, and deer. Watching the ravens carefully pick acorns, fly way up, fling the acorn down on the pavement, and then eat the soft center that has been opened up.

Watching a chicken chase a bug so intently that she traces its every movement, leading to a zigzagging, drunken looking race around the pasture.

And being able to watch the sunset off the porch, and know that I will be able to see a lot more country, tomorrow.


  1. Beautiful post! I'm glad I saved it to come back to for tonight. I wanted to linger over it and not feel rushed.
    I loved this for a couple of reasons, one of which it is beautifully written.
    The second one being that it reminded me so much of my childhood.
    Thanks for taking me on a stroll down memory lane. For the good parts anyway. All of the stuff you wrote about in this post were my favorite parts of growing up.

  2. Yes, lots of memories. Thanks.

  3. Sorry it took me so long to reply. Thunderstorm last night and I wasn't able to get back to the computer. But thank you both for the comments. It's so funny when I do the off the cuff ones like this, it's the ones most people like best!



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