Well, I can't really sum it up yet. It was a lot to take in. I will say that it was a really cool experience. We drove way out to the country, y'all! I mean, yes, we are sort of in the country now, but still close to a really nice grocery store and a place that sells swanky coffee drinks, and not too far from a really big city. We did see a coyote as we were coming down the driveway. That was kind of cool. It was in the neighbor's horse paddock. We see deer often, but this was the first coyote. On our way to the country though, we saw a lot more critters. We got a nice little helping of dead skunks, but no live ones. We saw a beautiful bald eagle soaring over the Osage River as we crossed. Once we turned our eyes to the skies, we saw several red tailed hawks as well. We saw one little critter darting into a hole that George thought was a cat, but I think it was something much more critter-like and much less pet-like. Among the "pet-like" animals (or shall I just use the vocabulary of a normal person and say domesticated animals?) we saw were cows, horses, donkeys, mules, pigs, goats, sheep, geese, ducks, and even llamas. I know that these are just regular farm animals that you read to your children about and teach the sounds of and sing the songs for, but they really are out there on somebody's land! When Joyce, the lady that was riding in our car with us around the area to tell us how to get from one place to another, said that she and her husband were farmers, she might as well have told me that she was a princess and that her husband was a knight who fights dragons! I think that farms really are just kids' stories in my mind. I know there used to be profitable family farms, but I reckon I was under the impression that there were just like a hundred giant farms out there that were completely commercial and impersonal and stretched for dozens of miles. Well, I don't really know what I thought. But I don't really think I thought about a couple owning a modest but profitable farm all their own and raising cattle and growing soybeans in the middle of Missouri and them pointing their cows out to me as we drove by- just a few dozen cows, not a few thousand on a massive ranch somewhere. I mean, people in Nashville have cows, I just don't think of them having income from cows. Then again, why else would they have the cows? So I will have something to point out to my kids on the way to the mall, right?
Anyway, the thing was, there were lots of farmers. Farmers are real. The country is real. People live in "towns" that have only a couple hundred people in them. And not towns that are actually suburbs of some larger place, towns that aren't actually towns, that don't have grocery stores or a library or even a McDonald's, that are 15 minutes away from all of that, and 45 away from one with a Walmart or Target or Panera Bread. Please don't misunderstand me, this is not me turning my nose up, this is me amazed at my limited idea of what the world is like. This is me excited that something I thought was a romantic and archaic notion of farm life is actual farm life. Whether or not that life is for the Edemas remains to be seen, but it was a charming little snapshot of rural Missouri.