I love my two boys, cats Winston and Clarence. My friend Patty says they have old man names, but, really, that wasn’t the inspiration. Winston is named after Mr. Churchill, and Clarence is named after the angel on It’s a Wonderful Life. Hubs thought that one up, but it’s pretty apropos, since a couple of years ago Clarence kind of saved my life when I was going through a particularly rough patch. He came to me with a cold and his spine noticeably visible. We needed each other. Or, like Clarence from the movie who feigned drowning to save George Bailey, maybe Clarence pretended to be thin and needy with a bad sneeze.
Winston, a few years older than Clarence, joined our family as a kitten after we’d been “petless” for two days, having lost a dog and cat within the span of a month. He came to us when we needed some joy in our lives. Between the two of them, they have us trained pretty well. Winston knocks his metal bowls together to get me up from the couch, and Clarence waits by the faucet to drink until one of his tribe turns on the tap.
I used to shake my head at those people who, upon becoming empty nesters, treated their pets like children–that is, until I became an empty nester and started referring to myself as their mommy. Go figure.
“Apparently the birds need encouragement,” my brother told Mom and me over the phone a couple of weeks ago. He then explained that his youngest, Victoria, had walked outside with him and, upon hearing the birds singing, said, “Way to go, birds! Keep up the good work.”
I’d been thinking similar thoughts recently when a cold snap interrupted our early spring. The nightly temps dipped into the teens, ruining the annual show of white flowers and fruit tree blossoms. I’d been worried about the birds, wondering if the cold had been too much for them. But from inside my warm house, I could hear them singing even louder than usual. It was as though they said, “Oh yeah, winter? We’ll show you!”
While March turned out to be cooler than February and April has yet to prove itself, the birds remain obstinate in my little corner of the good green Earth.
My spring heroes.
When tasked with the challenge of talking about myself, I hesitate, if I’m being honest. But one of the goals of this blog is connecting with like-minded folks, and in the spirit of making a proper introduction, here goes.
Hi, I’m Amy and I’m a farm girl at heart. Yes, I said girl, even though I turned fifty-one recently. I grew up on the same dairy farm that I live on today, minus the cows. Now it’s mostly crops with four horses, one shy of a dozen chickens, and one noisy rooster. I’m an introvert and don’t like crowds. I like books and reading, which makes sense as I write and edit for a living.
The Midwest is home, Missouri specifically. I love living in a rural area with small towns where people live and breathe and work and love and take care of each other. While I’ll visit my daughter in the big city, it’s always a relief to get home to the quiet. I like seeing an uncluttered horizon and breathing clean air, peppered mildly with the scent of large animals.
I love God, but this faith walk ain’t a piece of cake. Sometimes I wish it were. One of my most favorite things to be is simply Child of God.
So that’s me, but why this blog? On the practical side of things, I want to share recipes, my gardening experiments (I’m seasoned but still learning), and DIY projects. For the inspirational side, reflections on rural life.
When trying to sum up my thoughts for a tagline, a line from the song “Home on the Range” kept coming back to me—“where seldom is heard, a discouraging word.” I hope readers will come away feeling better about life. Feeling like they have renewed purpose. Feeling like there are still good people on this good green Earth we share.
Years ago I edited a writing guild’s newsletter that ran a feature entitled “Why I Write.” While I enjoyed reading responses from various writers in the group, I never asked myself that question. Imagine my surprise recently when the title resurfaced in the form of an opening blog post my brother wanted me to look over for his new writing endeavor.
That’s my topic, I thought, inspired by his sincere words in the face of our shared loss. And so I take up the question here.
Why do I write?
I write to figure things out for myself. My brain seems to work well this way.
I write because I’ve been given a gift and I want to honor the Giver. For the longest time, I haven’t been using it, and He’s been gently calling me back to reveal more of myself through my words.
I write because I want to speak from my heart, to connect with like-minded folks—this hasn’t always been easy for me. The sting of rejection, decades old, still causes me to hesitate.
I write because I love words and how they flow together, love the music of them.
I write because I want to give back. I want to provide a safe place for friends to gather, a place of encouraging words and the simple life from my little corner of rural America.
I write because it’s who I am.
Linger here awhile. You’re always welcome.