Monday, April 11, 2011

Cows, clay, and cousins

I am not a country girl.  I like the idea of it in many ways, a simpler lifestyle, kids being raised in the good ol' outdoors, growing your own food and learning to fix and make things yourself.  But, I also like sidewalks, coffee shops, boutique restaurants, quick 911 service, and about 1,000 other things that are probably tricky to come by in the country.  Luckily for us, my sister-in-law and her husband live in the country.  Not too far away from civilization, just enough to get a small glimpse of it. 
Last week we went there for a birthday party and it struck me as fortunate that my kids get to glimpse this way of life that is in many ways different from their own.  They live down a dirt road on land that my brother-in-law grew up on.  There are cows directly behind their back yard and in the winter, they need to be fed and cared for.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, whatever, my brother-in-law and nephew leave family functions or anything else to go "feed."  The kids like to say hi to the cattle and one day, they will be invited to help in the feeding of them when we are out for a visit.  I will be terrified of this but will let them go anyway.  What an opportunity!
In addition to cattle, my sister-in-law has a pottery studio that also doubles as a shop for tractors, 4 wheelers, and miscellaneous "country" stuff.  She gave each of my children their very own ball of clay to take home and "create" with.  When the masterpieces are created, we will take them back to the shop where they will be glazed and fired.
And the best part of the visit for my baby boy?  Playing basketball with his cousin, who at 14 years old is easily 6'4".  You know, they grow them that way in the's all the beef and corn and walking 5 miles uphill to the bus stop!
Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives and working down the "to do" list that it's hard to remember to stop and spend some time just hanging out, picking wildflowers and waving at cows.  It's easier to remember to do that in the country.  I am thankful that my kids will grow up with a place where they can be "country kids" at least for the afternoon.  And, I'm thankful that at the end of the afternoon, we can hit the Starbucks on our way back to suburbia!

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