In 1979, when I was nine, my parents bought a two story farm house on three acres out in the country. Life was never the same again.

 In 1979, when I was nine, my parents bought a two story farm house on three acres out in the country. Life was never the same again. Up until that time, we lived in town in a very nice 1970's red brick Brady Bunch style home in the middle of a respected neighborhood on a corner lot. The house was complete with a fenced in backyard and a solid white formal sitting room (a big thing back then). I didn't mind living in town. We were just blocks from the grocery store and I had miles and miles of concrete on which to ride my bike and a paved driveway to roller skate on. After several years, my Father decided that he had enough of town living and was ready to move back to his roots out in the country. It proved to be one of the best decisions he ever made, especially for his children. The home he purchased was not fancy by any stretch and there were no more formal rooms of any kind. My brothers and I were infinitely happy about having one big living room with a 10-foot ceiling. We could plop down anywhere and never have to worry about that white room again. The farmhouse had only belonged to one family and was charming from day one. The yard was amazing. It had huge mature oak trees and numerous fruit trees including, peach, plum, and apple. We also had wild berries growing in the yard such as blackberry and raspberries. As a nine year old, I thought it was pretty cool that I could go out and pick my own fruit. I thought we had a grocery store in the yard. My dad put out a huge garden too, so we always had plenty of produce. Our closest neighbors were a mile up the road and they had kids, so the yard was always full with the three of us and the four or five of them. This led into some great kickball games, flashlight tag, whiffle ball, and hide-and-go-seek marathons. As we got older we exchanged our bicycles for four wheelers. We spent most of Saturday riding down by the Big Muddy River getting infinitely dirty and having fun. We also spent a lot of time with cousins. I have an aunt that lives in Coello. We went to her house a lot, especially in the summer. We usually went at night when it was cooler. My aunt and uncle never turned on their air conditioning. My uncle was a farmer and if the air was on he would get incredibly chilled and sick after working in the fields. When we went to visit, the adults sat outside while the kids ran around. I liked to go to my aunt and uncle's because they had a huge barn full of hay. As kids, we got to climb to the top and swing from the rafters something I found to be the epitome of childhood fun. When we got ready to leave, I got to ride home in the back of the truck which would always make me sleepy. To this day when I go out for a drive at night in the summer, I love to have the windows down and the radio up. The smell of fishy pond water and dirt make me happy. I like listening to the bullfrogs and locusts at night. Watching the sun go down while it is still 80 degrees fills me with a sense of peace. My idea of beauty is the coal mine lights lit up in a cornfield. During the day, I love to see the irrigation systems watering the corn and beans in the sun. Summer time takes me back. I will forever be that nine year old girl with a freckle face, and sun burn swinging from the rafters. Call me crazy. You can take the girl out of the country, but you will never take the country out of the girl.