I love being able to have a cup of tea with my girlfriend across the street, just a few short steps away; and connecting with neighbors throughout the week. I am also grateful for the many conveniences city life affords. The bigger the city, the more energized I feel. But there is a farm girl not so deep within me.
My father is a farmer. He raises cattle, horses and timber.
He used to breed Blue Heelers, too
As a kid, I would practice different mounts (mostly straddle vaults) on my sister Amy’s Shetland Pony and ride it through the creek. We built hay forts in the barn, camped in the woods, searched for and found Indian arrow heads, fished in top-secret fishing spots, jumped from a rope swing into the swimming hole and rode our horses bareback through the woods.
Our parents divorced when we were young. Whenever we would go to our dad’s, our mom would meticulously pack for us, sending matching outfits and hair accessories. We wore whatever was in our suitcase in combos of comfiness. Most days, I doubt we combed our hair or matched our clothes. We’d pretty much roll out of bed and go!
When my sister and I were little, we loved haying the pastures with our dad. During the long hot summer days of July, we would ride leaning against the tractor’s fenders, fighting over whose turn it was to steer.
One of the hay fields was near a tiny market where, at noon, Amy and I would buy Eskimo Bars. We’d lie on the grass in the shade, under the bed of the hay trailer, gorging our tiny tummies and overdosing on sugar.
I am thankful for those early days of freedom, creativity and lack of self consciousness. They set me up for a wonderful life.
My wild horse, Popcorn, visiting the backyard of our house in town. In hindsight, my mom must have wondered what my dad was thinking! He was 25 or 26 years old at the time. I was 4. This was probably the day I was bucked off and traumatized.