Missouri has been my home for over ten years now. I’ve lived a lot of different places in the U.S. : San Diego, where I was born, and quite a few parts of Southern California, Providence, R.I. , Portsmouth, Va., the tiny town of Applegate, Michigan… Each of the places I’ve lived is, of course, unique and the things I love (and often miss) about the places I’ve left are usually those things that do make them most unique.
I have seven acres here in the Missouri Ozarks. Not too big, not too small, Goldilocks would love it here. We are far enough from town yet close enough to town, and I get sunrises like this :
The weather here is a revelation. When I first arrived, someone told me about a farmer who had gone out to his back field in short sleeves one day when the weather was fine; the weather began to turn and his truck wouldn't start, and the farmer died of hypothermia. I didn't believe it. I thought it was far-fetched. I thought it was a rural legend to warn us all. I was wrong. The temperature here can drop 20 degrees Fahrenheit in an hour, and keep on dropping.
That was supposed to happen today, although right now the weather gurus are saying the progression from yesterday's 65 degrees to tomorrow's 32 degrees will be much slower than anticipated. Whew!
We have our little farm here full of ups and downs. We’ve lost a number of chickens over the years, raccoons being our biggest problem. Yeah, they are cute little demons, but demons none-the-less! My goats were supposed to be pygmies, but since they are nearly the size of Volkswagens, I’m guessing the people we bought them from fudged a bit about their lineage. We ended up with four ganders and one goose, which creates a lot of tension around this time of year when geese traditionally lay their eggs.
The most frustrating thing about where we live is that our road runs alongside a river. Not right beside, across the fields but following, and the road is on the north side of bluff. That means that once we have ice on our road, we keep the ice on our road. The sun can’t reach it for the bluff and the trees. In May when everyone else is bopping around on their motorcycles, I'm still sweating getting my Kia Soul down the road. Ice Road Truckers? Ha! They have nothing on me.
The other problem is that rivers overrun their banks. The first five years we lived here it rarely happened but since then it has become a yearly occurrence. I never really understood about flooding until I saw it myself.
There is more power in moving water than mere words can convey.
And that water often moves over our road, flooding us in. This is not all bad, I want to assure you. An unexpected holiday is always welcome. But it does mean that we have to be prepared. For water. For ice.
Like most country folk we keep a lot of supplies on hand, and we do try to face the occasional frustration caused by ice, water, lack of electricity, etc. with a sense of adventure. There's no point in getting upset over something you can't control.
Besides, this IS home. And it’s certainly where my heart is.