Monday, January 09, 2012

Out of the 'hood

"People seek retreats for themselves in the country, by the sea, and near the mountains, and you too are especially prone to desire such things. But this is a sign of ignorance, since you have the power to retire within yourself whenever you wish. For nowhere can a person retire more full of peace and free from care than into his own soul."
Marcus Aurelius: Meditations

I've heard it said, "you can take the boy out of the country, but, you can't take the country out of the boy".

I guess that's true. If, like me, you were raised on a working farm, if you one time owned your own farm with cattle, crops, fences, equipment, even with all the headaches and heartaches that may have led you to leave...........there remains within me those memories of running through the field and furrows, woodlands and streams, barefoot, shirtless, not totally heedless, but, careless of the rocks, dirt, briars and critters, cowpies and mud puddles. A scrawny redneck child who could throw a rock at a field lark, and lie down against a Jersey cow, calmly chewing her cud in the sun.

And I yearn and strive to keep those memories and places alive, somewhere, down deep inside. Down where the free part of me lives, down there with the anguish of putting a good cow down because the strain and pressure of delivering her latest calf had stretched and torn the pelvic ligaments and tendons past the point of being able to rise to her feet ever again. Down there with the pleasure of watching a newborn calf flop about while discovering her balance, to respond to the lowing and licking of the mother, taking those first tentative steps, searching, without knowing exactly why, for the warmth of mothers udder and latching onto a teat and having the milk of life giving goodness run wetly down a new throat.
Down there with there with the remembered smells of new mown hay, fresh cut silage and the acrid smell of chlorine cleansers sanitizing the stainless steel milk tank.
Down there where you would watch the dawn come....first a faint grey, later washed out blue, then a bright red half oval rising into the blue of another beautiful May morning.
Down there with the satisfaction of coming in after all the light has gone from the sky, smelly, sweaty, itchy, dirty, from honest toil well done, well completed. Watching your daughters and son play with the dogs and kittens, the calves trying to nurse on finger tentatively offered to soft pink and black noses.

These parts of me cause a searching for those barbed wire fences sagging between locus posts, so old and hard that a staple will only bend instead of driving cleanly into the hold for another day, year, decade 'til the inexorable spread of subdivisions and supermarkets overrun it all.

So I guess it's no surprise when the kudzu wife wants to move away from the 'hood that I start thinking about more than a half acre lot with a used double wide on it. Almost a year after starting the search, Friday saw us become the proud owners of another mortgage.

In the middle of cattle and chicken country, with quite a few goat farms, a few row crops..... mostly soybeans, or corn maybe, if the farmer is raising cattle, no big grain farms like out West.
Just country folks, most with a job in town, either near or far.

Back....... perhaps to a second childhood, only with more work this time, and less shirtless running, a bit of dignified middle aged strolling perhaps and the shirt stays on, lest the glare in the sun causes jet liners far above to confuse me with destination airfield lights.

Part of the front porch:

View of dining room from kitchen:

Back deck:

The new Kudzu Grotto/man cave:

About a 100 young pecan trees in need of tending, along with Fescue grass and Coastal Bermuda grass, wild blackberry thickets for rabbit homes and cobblers.

I hope I don't wake up from this dream anytime soon.


Borepatch said...

I need a grotto.

I envy you, and hope that it is everything that you hope, and more.

Jean said...

Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Contests! Be sure to forward new address to your Maineaic sister.

Joyce Partridge said...

Thrilled and excited for you two! and perhaps a little envious. how soon til we can stop by and see it?

kdzu said...

Not moving anytime soon. (as in next 2 months). You can come by any time. Give a shout.

Yabu said...

Good for y'all.