I house sat for my sister and brother-in-law a few years ago. They live on a beautiful farm approximately 20 miles from my house. They had to be out of town for a weekend wedding and needed someone to take care of things for them at home. I was in desperate need of some peace and quiet, so it was the perfect arrangement. I took some notes during an afternoon I spent on their back porch. The following are my quaint country observations.
I had forgotten what it’s like being on a farm alone. The peace was amazing after living in the city for over twenty years. There is always some sort of noise in my neighborhood. Dogs are barking, people are talking, kids are playing, cars are running, doors are being opened and closed, and someone always has their radio or TV too loud.
On the farm, I could hear the birds, insects, and wind in the trees. From the back porch I saw the first bumblebee I’d seen since I was a kid. I’d forgotten how loud they were. In the distance, I could hear two birds calling to one another. Keee keee whoocha whoocha whoocha whoocha. I believe they were mocking birds, but I didn’t see them.
Further off, I heard a train whistle, a tractor, and a few cars. The insects were the loudest. Their singing was persistent and comforting. A wasp buzzed over my head, and the bumblebee bumbled around like crazy. There were even some insects that I couldn’t identify chasing the cottonwood fluff through the air.
Baxter the German Shepherd kept busy digging something a few yards away, coming back to check on me, and returning to his digging. He watched over me to make sure I was okay the entire time I was outside. He came over and nudged me for head pats every now and then before returning to whatever had caught his fancy.
The back porch was shaded by many trees, which kept it cool in the afternoon even though it faced west. The corn fields surrounding the property were lush, green, and proud from weeks and weeks of rainfall. They stretched toward the sun like the faithful reaching for God.
I was surprised that being outside at my sister’s house didn’t bother my allergies like being outside at home. I could breathe just fine on the farm. It could be the types of trees planted in my neighborhood that choke me up, or the difference could be in the clean country air.
A swallow had built a nest on the porch light. She sat on a rafter and stared at me expectantly. I don’t know what she thought I was going to do, but she didn’t show the slightest bit of fear. She simply waited to see if I was friend or foe. I didn’t bother her nest, and she didn’t bother me.
My husband and I hope to build a house in a location similar to that where my sister and her family live. I fell completely in love with her place during my stay. I wrote quite a bit, walked through the fields, played with the dog, rode a bicycle (I hadn’t done that since I was a kid.), and cooked on a gas stove. The peace soothed my soul and left me wanting more. Deep down inside, I’m just a simple country girl.
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