Thank God I’m a Country Boy

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If you didn’t’ grow up as a country bumpkin, shame on you! Those of us who did were footloose and fancy free. In the summer months, we roamed the countryside discovering every nook and craney of Mother Nature’s treasure trove. In other words, we had a pulse and felt the heartbeat of Mother Nature in every season of the year.

We ran barefoot over scorching, hot corn and cotton fields and the bottom of our feet could meet any soil temperature because no one could say we were a tender foot any longer. But, as tough as our feet had become, they were no match for the dreaded sandspurs. If you treaded into a patch of them, you were in trouble and when a few of them pierced your feet you didn’t know if you would turn back or continue walking forward.

We knew every sweet plum orchard, blackberry patch or huckleberry bush for miles around. There was nothing as satisfying as eating wild fruit straight from the source.

In the cool, damp woods, my sisters and I swung form thick, rope-like vines which we called “Tarzan vines” and heard birds and other small animals scampering in the tall trees above us. Spears of warm sunlight pierced through the sweet gum and hickory trees and brought added light to the forest clearing.

Mom and Dad never knew our exact location but had a general idea. There was absolutely no crime back then as it is today. You certainly could not give your children the freedom we had back then – it would be too risky and dangerous.

We waded in the clear blue steams and caught minnows and tadpoles in a mason jar. We walked around dirt roads with cool overhead canopies of pine trees shading our pathways.

We ran over long bridges and heard the warm board vibrating under our bare feet while sending the soundwaves quickly down Five Mile Creek.

There were snakes that crossed the dirt road as soft waves of summer heat shimmered and rose from the road and were carried and whisked away by a puff of unseen wind.

After all these years, I do remember the day we saw the young albino squirrel playing in the oak tree on our property with its brothers and sisters. Nothing could be as beautiful and unexpected to a child as what was expressed in the world of nature. I have not seen another in my lifetime. What an unexpected blessing!

So, once again, I proclaim – “Thank God that I’m a country boy!”

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