Flower 

Country at Heart

By Arkansas Girl

I was born near the still existing village, Patmos, Arkansas (2010 census population, 61). I come from a family of eleven children. I am married, no children. In addition to Arkansas and California, I have lived in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. My hobbies are reading, writing, quilting, and mosaics. I also like to volunteer.

When I was growing up, my family lived in a rented house on a large parcel of land (owned by the family from whom we rented). I come from generations of country people, and my family has always lived in the country.

My large clan, though rural, were not farmers nor sharecroppers. We never had a garden nor planted or harvested our own crops, but we did a lot of work (in other people's fields).. My Daddy was not a farmer (even though he wanted to be one). He always worked some place else, but his part-time job was finding some kind of work so we kids wouldn't grow up lazy.

For five years, I attended one of the rural, elementary schools. When our small-enrollment school was consolidated, to my utter consternation, we were bussed to and "forced" to join the more educated, prosperous, and sophisticated city kids' school. During those school years, my favorite time of the day was when the bus dropped us off at home. I was free to take off my school clothes, kick my shoes off and sit under the hickory nut tree and listen to the birds sing - or run barefooted down the winding, gravel road. The woods and pastures were my favorite places to seek solitude.

After attending seven years of city schooling, I graduated and left home, and though I have not lived in the country since the sixties, I'm still "country-at-heart."