When I first moved to eastern Kansas, I lived on a farm 25 miles south of our office. It was about my favorite place on the planet, but because I was driving back and forth to Kansas City a couple of times a week, as well as commuting to my office, I felt I needed to be in town and closer to the interstate.
Though I’ve lived in the city for five years now, a part of my heart has never left that beautiful place. A few weeks ago, my friends Ken and Nancy, who own Fieldstone, invited me to dinner. During our usual hilarity-filled conversation, they mentioned that the apartment was available again. “Oh my,” I said. And then, I started thinking. Our GRIT editor, Hank Will, and his wife Kate live out that direction, so I have a carpool buddy to keep expenses down. I’m not traveling to Kansas City as much these days, and, well, I just couldn’t think of enough reasons not to say yes. So I did, and now what I’m saying is, “Holy cats, I have a lot of packing to do …”
I’m going back to the farm, taking up my life out where the pavement ends, where dogs don’t need leashes and the cat can be in a barn where his hunting prowess will be appreciated rather than curtailed. I will be able to walk through the orchards and pick my breakfast, and freeze enough blackberries to keep me in antioxidants ’til the cows come home (or next harvest, as the case might be) and to visit with the hens whose fresh eggs I’ll be enjoying every day.
I told Nancy a few days ago I’d come out on the 4th of July to “practice flowers.” My daughter’s wedding is July 11 and I’ve volunteered to be responsible for the flowers (which includes a lot of getting the other womenfolk in the family to make table arrangements, etc.). So now, from the “Money Where My Mouth Is” department, I figure I ought to give this bouquet-making venture a dry run or two. Nancy, good sport that she is, volunteered to help me sort out how to bundle the flowers and wrap the ribbon so it looks homey but not too homemade. (It’s an outdoor wedding in a beautiful park in the Berkeley hills in California — right now we’re not so worried about flowers as about forest fires, but that’s another story.)
So we’re practicing flowers on Independence Day. I just got an email from Nancy telling me to bring a sweater because we’re going up on the neighbors’ hill to watch fireworks and it sometimes gets chilly out there. And all of a sudden, I got a little choked up. I have so missed having neighbors with whom I actually interact rather than just wave at as we climb in and out of our cars.
My life is always full of adventure, no matter where I live. But I can tell you for sure that, since I have my druthers, I’d druther have my adventures country-style. Stay tuned and I’ll update this blog often to share those adventures with you. And please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in the comments section below, keep in touch with me and maybe share some adventures of your own.