I think that it is true that no matter what state—or for that matter country—you call home, the horizon has been changed to include that of wind turbines. As I recently drove down the highway en route to my grandparents’ home some 100 miles away, I couldn’t help but think of how far I have come in the debate.
In 2005, when I first noticed the turbines going up along this road, I found myself irritated by those “eyesores” disrupting my daydreams, and wondering why they couldn’t find somewhere less visible to place them. I hated having my scenic views disrupted by “progress.” I liked being able to look out the car window and envision the buffalo running wild, mustangs running free and Indians sitting up on the cliff line. I could see them there, in my mind’s eye, and be lost in the stories they told. But it was a little harder with those turbines standing there shouting, “Hey, there is something new on the horizon.”
In the 25 years that my husband and I have been married, we have moved several times. I, being the more adventurous one, wasn’t as stressed by the changes as he was. I saw each adventure as an opportunity to usher in new things, new people and new experiences…blooming where I was planted. I could always hit the ground running, embracing the new venue in which to learn and laugh and love. My husband, on the other hand, warms up more slowly to change, to new people and new experiences. His family roots are dug in deep and uprooting them in any way always brought a time of adjustment for him. I have stated many times in our life together that he is my roots and I am his wings.
Why is getting to the post office such a chore? I hate it. I would rather do almost any other chore then go to the post office. I would rather do the dishes, mop the floor, and even scrub the toilets before making my way to that building. The one thing that I miss the most about working in a downtown office is being able to put the envelope in the outgoing mail bin and knowing it would magically leave. Poof, gone. I loved that!
It isn’t that I don’t like the people there—I do. We have the nicest folks that work in our local post office. They are fun, funny, and witty. And I always seem to run into someone from the community that I haven’t seen in awhile and have a lovely conversation that enriches my day. The building itself is quite lovely and historical, too. I rarely have to wait in line for too long. So what is the deal?
Traveling down old country roads is magical. It has been a favorite past time of mine for as long as I can recall. I have discovered some of the most beautiful, fun and wacky things down those country roads, most of which I have returned to time and time again.
When we know better, we do better. Or do we? That statement is often true in my life, yet sometimes when I know better, I just know better. My knowing doesn’t always lead to immediate action. Sometimes, everything in me applauds the newly adopted philosophy, but it’s as if tie-downs keep me from jumping into action.
If I had to choose one song that epitomizes me this would have to be it. Barbara Mandrel’s, “I was country”. (That or “Redneck Woman,” but that’s another post.) I wasn’t really one of the cool kids during high school, although since there were a total of 100 kids in K-12, I don’t know that we really had such a distinction. I had then, like I have now, a very eclectic group of friends, as eclectic as you can get in a small Eastern Washington town in the 1970s (late ’70s), when half the town was family.
Is it just me, or does everyone hear a soundtrack of their lives in their head? I remember events based on the song that I associate with them. My husband on the other hand, can recall the songs based on the year in which it was a hit. For me, the song doesn’t have to be from the era the event took place, it’s just a song that I heard in my head either at the time of the event or at a later recalling of the event.
My dad’s side of the family has a “take no hostage” kind of humor. It isn’t for wimps. I have developed a cynical kind of humor because of them, the kind of humor that not everyone “gets.” . I don’t say that in a bragging kind of way, I say it in an I-have-laid-on-the-shrink’s- sofa-and-evaluated-myself-and-came to-terms-with-it kind of way.
Case and Point: According to Wikipedia the snipe (a family of shorebirds) is difficult to catch for even the most experienced hunters, so much so that the word "sniper" is derived from it to refer to anyone skilled enough to shoot one.
Alexandra Wilson, Our New Rural Farmgirl, is a budding rural farmgirl living in Palmer, the agricultural seat of Alaska. Alex is a graduate student at Alaska Pacific University pursuing an M.S. in Outdoor and Environmental Education. She lives and works on the university’s 700 acre environmental education center, Spring Creek Farm. When Alex has time outside of school, she loves to rock climb, repurpose found objects, cross-country ski on the hay fields, travel, practice yoga, and cook with new-fangled ingredients.
Alex grew up near the Twin Cities and went to college in Madison, Wisconsin—both places where perfectly painted barns and rolling green farmland are just a short drive away. After college, she taught at a rural middle school in South Korea where she biked past verdant rice paddies and old women selling home-grown produce from sidewalk stoops. She was introduced to MaryJanesFarm after returning, and found in it what she’d been searching for—a group of incredible women living their lives in ways that benefit their families, their communities, and the greater environment. What an amazing group of farmgirls to be a part of!
Libbie Zenger Previous Rural Farmgirl, June 2010 – Jan 2012 Libbie’s a small town farmgirl who lives in the high-desert Sevier Valley of Central Utah on a 140-year-old farm with her husband and two darling little farmboys — as well as 30 ewes; 60 new little lambs; a handful of rams; a lovely milk cow, Evelynn; an old horse, Doc; two dogs; a bunch o’ chickens; and two kitties.
René Groom Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010 René lives in Washington state’s wine country. She grew up in the dry-land wheat fields of E. Washington, where learning to drive the family truck and tractors, and “snipe hunting,” were rites of passage. She has dirt under her nails and in her veins. In true farmgirl fashion, there is no place on Earth she would rather be than on the farm.