Living in the country is not easy. I guess I could say it’s not for softies. Few conveniences surround us.
We get water from our well. Our bodily wastes go to a septic tank. Our driveway is about a quarter mile of gravel, snaking uphill. And if anything goes wrong with these elements of infrastructure, we have to fix the problem ourselves, one way or another.
Where we live you can’t even get a cell phone connection. Of course, Sweetheart Al and I don’t have cell phones, but for those who do, visiting us entails a distinct and painful withdrawal.
Our county has no big box stores. There are plenty of thrift stores but no shoe stores, quite a few grain and feed stores, but no car dealerships (although we used to have a Subaru dealership before the owner got arrested for having a stash of machine guns and ammo at his house).
Going to the bank, or a restaurant, or a gas station is at least a 40-minute round trip. And if we get behind a slow truck hauling cattle or timber, it might be closer to an hour.
But one thing we have in abundance is natural beauty. The sunrises and sunsets can take your breath away.
Driving around a corner and seeing the undulating foothills spread out like a vast oil painting, with the snow-covered Sierra Nevada in the distance, is enough to make you want to pull off the road and spend the day snapping pictures.
At this time of year, streams slip and slide and curl and cut through lush green meadows looking all the world like slices of mirror capturing the deep blue sky and white clouds.
The deer strike their beautiful poses as we drive past and the wild rabbits run and hop along the road.
The other morning as I drove to my part-time job, the moon was so stunning I gasped out loud, "I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it."
There it was – a huge beach ball of orange – just above the hills. I sped up, hoping to find a shoulder in the road where I could pull over and take a picture. I glanced at my purse, and reached inside for the digital camera, figuring that at least I could take a shot or two through the windshield since I’d never before seen the moon this big or this beautiful at this time of the day.
And in that slim sliver in time between taking my eyes off the moon to see my purse, and bringing them back…in that half an eye blink…it was gone.
The morning fog took it. Just like that.
I held the camera on my lap for miles, hoping the beautiful moon would emerge again. But it never did.
However, at day’s end, as the sky above our house began its evening alpine glow, a lovely pearl of a moon rose and I was able to take several pictures of it. One I’ve posted here.
We live in a world of exquisite beauty, adorned with the sounds of other creatures – gobbling turkeys, chirping frogs, hooting owls, singing coyotes. It’s a place full of life and the seasons of life.
And for us, right now, it’s absolutely perfect.