Living In The Country Shorthartley-stevens

When I was growing up, on the farm, my favorite day of the whole year wasn’t my birthday, wasn’t Christmas or New Year’s… It was the first day of school. Every year, no matter my age from zero to seventeen, it was the first day of school.

You see, every summer day, every holiday break, every Saturday — period, we worked. My dad was a farmer and the work never ended. Born as a first son, I was the ideal farm-hand. Back then I loved it, the work. I saw it as important, necessary and manly. To this day I feel great gratitude for my father waking me and my brother early and putting us to the task of doing something of significance.

But, oh my, did I anticipate and love that first day of school every year. I got to get up late, only seven am, not the five-thirty grind of the three-month summer. I had childhood responsibilities: rise and shine, dress in fun new clothes, don the new Scooby-Doo lunchbox, catch the bus and do your damn math, English, history… I got to talk with girls. I got to see friends, which I hadn’t seen for a quarter-year. I got to play sports. I got to talk with girls. I held court at a twenty-minute lunch with friends over Salisbury Steak, mixed vegies and a carton of milk. I competed with smart competent students for the best grades. And, I got to talk with girls.

My favorite saying is… You become what you think about most of the time and like the people you hang around. Adult life, I think, can be much like that first day of school. Pick good people to surround yourself with and work hard at what you believe in.


The End