Monday, January 16, 2012

Why the farm reminds you of a real America


Robert Frost once wrote a poem about being versed in country things. I still don't know if an aspen and a poplar are the same thing. But there are some things I do know.

Until my father died when I was seven, we had Herefords, Horses, and game chickens my father would never loan to those who wanted to fight them. Since the cows were for beef, I never learned how to milk a cow, but I do know if you push on the side of a well trained horse it will move sideways.

You remember the times you ate the corn you pulled off the stalk and got "corn belly". Your father told you what to say if they asked if you had a TV? "No, but we got a new manure spreader."

You try to stay in touch with it. You put in 18 fruit trees or buy a horse that's a thoroughbred/warmblood, so your dad, the former ringmaster, will look down from Heaven and see you can stay on when she does a 360.

But hanging on is what it is. The longer you live in West LA, the more you think it's normal for high school  kids to have new BMWs  that miss you by a foot when you're in the crosswalk. You make friends with people from some other part of the country because you've learned Southern Californians really will never "do lunch" with you.

But the farm is always there in the background to remind you there are livable parts of
America that someday you can return to. There are some days that's enough.

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