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Living in the country

By Holly Martin

Yesterday evening was the most beautiful evening of the year, so far--or at least, at our little spot in the world, it was.

The temperature was a perfect 80 degrees. The sun was warm. The sunset was clear and beautiful. There was no wind. Yes, I said there was no wind in western Kansas.

As I drove to the barn with the window down, I swear I could see the grass growing before my eyes. The cows grazed lazily as the calves jumped and played. A turkey (or seven) strutted his stuff for a potential mate. Deer scurried to the shelterbelt.

I overheard my son and his friend talking, recently.

"I can't imagine living in town."

"Me neither. I don't know what I would do if I had a little yard."

"I know. I like living in the country."

As I experienced that lovely evening, my thoughts drifted back to that conversation. "I like living in the country." Oh, me too. Me, too.

I know there are plenty of times when I curse the wind howling in my 50-year-old windows. Or when I can't just make a quick trip to the store for a project I'm working on.

But as much as those situations are frustrating, days like yesterday are the days that make me know why we chose to live in the country. I enjoy watching the antics of a killdeer to protect her nest. I like the clear, uninterrupted sky that explodes with stars at night. To me, one of the most beautiful sights around is a field of rust red sorghum with its shiny green leaves, next to a field of golden, soon-to-be-harvested corn, against a bright blue fall sky.

For my son and his friend, living in the country means they can explore a quarter section of ground without crossing a road or fence. Or, they can feed their need to build forts, survey old machinery, drive the Go-Kart in wide-open spaces and stalk pheasants.

But, whatever drives our love of the country, those of us who live here have a common bond. There are few people who have a better understanding of the importance of our natural resources than those who live in the country. We understand nature and the way it interacts; the way it ebbs and flows.

It is interesting that I am writing this on Earth Day--a day set aside to raise awareness about the environment.

To those of us who live in the country, we celebrate the world around us each and every day. But, sometimes, it takes a day like yesterday to remind us that living in the country truly is a gift.

Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171 ext. 1806 or e-mail at hmartin@hpj.com.

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