Saturday, May 24, 2008

Born Country

I can no longer deny it: I live on a farm. Honestly, there is simply no way around my mother's quirky hobby of collecting farm animals or her lifestyle of choice...she designed our house to look like a farm house [complete with wrap-around porch and porch swing], we live on twenty acres of land, our neighbors own cows, and chickens roam around the yard. I live on a farm.

I can handle that, though. I mean, sure, every once in a while I have to go collect eggs as if I were Laura Ingles Wilder, and yes, right this very moment I am supposed to be helping my little brother spread sand in his horse arena, but I think that my family is decently normal. It's kind of like the fact that we have a million cats, but we're not crazy cat people and our house doesn't smell disgusting -- we have an eclectic array of pets, but we're not crazy hick farmers.

Or are we?

For the moment, I am going to disregard the fact that Mom has named her chickens Ethel, Maude, Hazel and Esther, Cindy Lou and Betty Joe. I am going to discount the fact that the rooster's name is Toby Keith. Let's just forget about the hay loft, the multiple horse pastures, and the goats that serve no real purpose other than being somewhat adorable. This is no longer about the animals; it is about what we do for fun.

My dad has a large pile of brush that he needs to burn tonight. The love of fire being one of the only common denominators among my diverse group of friends, I naturally asked to have people over. This is when it hit me for real -- the farm isn't the problem, my crazy redneck friends are!! When we aren't over here, hanging out in the hayloft and hiding the goats to make my sister mad, we're in Paul's Barn [yes, capital "B." The Barn. It is proper noun, trust me] burning things, shooting pellet guns at each other, lighting fireworks, or shooting skeet [and no, I don't know how that began...I blame Bradley, but I digress]. Do you see the common themes? Guns and fire. Oh dear Lord.

Now, I think that it needs to be said that I love my friends with my entire being. They say that friends are the family that you choose, and I think that I won the lottery, because my guys are such wonderful, respectful, amazing young men -- I love you boys so much. My girlfriends keep me sane; I don't know what I would do without them. Truth be told, I love the fact that we all hang out in a Barn. Sitting on the roof, watching the illegal fireworks from Indiana paint glittery portraits in the clean, country night air is one of my favorite things. When we drive through the back roads at night, windows down and country music blaring, I know that it is summer.

And it's not like we're stupid hicks [although Tyler's "I thought them there were REAL deer" will forever live on in infamy]. We're all going into really incredible fields: occupational therapy, finance, political science, hospitality and tourism management, business, education, English, videography, and who even knows what else? We're young and we're smart and we love each other. So who cares if we're a little bit more country than one might expect? And who cares if something always ends up on fire when we hang out [or someone's eyebrows...disappear]? And does it really matter that we're good ole' country kids instead of "sophisticated" college students who party? We have fun and damn the rest.

So. Now that that is off my chest, I'm going to go ride a horse and find more things for us to burn tonight. We're hanging out at my house at 8:30 or 9:00...come on over if you're up for some good country fun...and maybe cow-tipping. But no promises.

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