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Fun on the farm

I grew up in a farmhouse just 200 yards from where I currently live, which happens to be in the family’s pecan grove.

The trees basically quit producing a long while back, due to some sort of blight; we lost others to Hurricane Opal when she blasted through a few years ago.

Still, I like to look out at the tall trees remaining and watch them change through the seasons; the tiny buds of early spring, the glossy green leaves of summer, the multi-hued magic of autumn and yes, even the bare-bones elegance of winter all have their special appeal.

A local gentleman rents out the pasture below us, so we have cows and donkeys as neighbors.

Other than an occasional ear-splitting screech from those burros or mournful bellow from one of the bovines, they are, generally speaking, good neighbors.

They don’t mind it when I do nonsensical things like speak French to them (&uot;Bonjour, Monsieur Bull!&uot;).

They were even nice enough to all come to my cat’s funeral (though I suspect they were just looking for a handout).

When you live in the country, it just seems right to have cows.

They are largely placid animals and fit perfectly into the landscape.

Nothing is prettier to watch than a big-eyed, spindle-legged calf wobbling around with its mama.

They remind me of a painting done by my grandmother Killough that hangs in the old farmhouse, one that features a trio of black Angus enjoying a stop at the watering hole. And yes, they remind me of my dad, who helped to finance much of my college education by selling a cow or calf now and again.

Even though we don’t farm on our own 14 acres (we didn’t even get my beloved tomatoes planted this year), Benny and I do like our country life with its trees and cows and donkeys and country canines.

There are far worse places to live.

Someone else who knows the value of rural life is Whitman Kramer.

She and her family are the focus of our Lifestyles section this week.

Many of you will recall that fun &uot;chicken story&uot; from this spring.

Well, the enterprising ‘chicken lady’ is back to share more about her rewarding family life in Forest Home.

Having grown up on a farm, I know how much richer little Rosemary and Isabelle Kramer’s lives are from all that exposure to Mother Nature.

They learn valuable lessons everyday that they will carry with them throughout their lives.

Kudos to Whitman and Kevin and best wishes on their new nursery venture!

Finally, many thanks to Dale Gates, a wonderful local stained glass artisan, for being such a good sport when I accidentally referred to him as ‘Daryl Gates’ in a previous article—as the kids say, &uot;my bad.&uot;

Angie Long is a columnist and Lifestyles writer for the Greenville Advocate.

You may contact her via e-mail at along@alaweb.com or leave a recorded message at 382-5145.