Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

I'm not really a country girl.

I'm soft. I like convenience. I like garage door openers and trash pick up and pizza delivery. I like running to the store for milk at 9 o'clock at night. Ah, but I have said goodbye to all of those things.

All things considered, I have adapted rather well to the rural life. I had a crash course. The first year we lived here, we lived in a tiny one-room cabin with no indoor shower, and only a 5-gallon water heater. Let me tell you, I did not shave my legs all winter long! We had only a cell phone, and it got lousy reception. I had to climb the ladder to the kids' slide to get a signal. My friends took to humming the theme song to Green Acres whenever I approached. I believe my sisters may have whispered about having me committed.

That first year was a rough one. We had no sooner moved out here than my husband lost his job. A couple of weeks later my mother died. My daughter was engaged, so that put me in the middle of planning a wedding and executing a long-distance trouble-fraught estate simultaneously.

And then my best friend died. I prayed for help.

God sent me peace. I looked out my kitchen window and saw rolling hills as far as the eye could see. I saw wild hogs and wild turkey walk across the pasture right in front of the house. In the morning I saw the sun rise through the oak trees. At night the stars were so bright that I mistook the milky way for a cloud in the night sky, the constellations became old friends, and the full moon cast shadows. It's been almost ten years, and it still leaves me awestruck on a regular basis.

Someone asked me once to close my eyes and imagine any place on earth that made me feel peaceful. That's easy...I see it every day from my kitchen window.

I think I'm a country girl after all.

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