Soulful Passion

August 10, 2010

After recently posting an article past midnight, a friend asked me what I was doing up so late. Besides the fact that I’m a little zany, it’s difficult to post at a reasonable hour. Country folks just have too much to do.

Before I roll out of bed, twelve hens and one turkey are waiting. They want outside the running pen, scratch in their feeder, and fresh water in their pan. Cobwebs need brushing down in the chicken coop and poop removed from beneath the roosting bar. (I use a cat litter scooper—it works great for a small flock.) The horses take care of themselves grazing the back pasture. Thank heaven. No steers at this time. The vegetable garden requires a once over, moving the hose, and if I’m lucky (this year’s crop is so weird) harvest a few veggies. In the perennial garden, there are weeds to pluck, deadheading, pruning, and plants swooning in a dramatic wilt for water.

Then there’s Ralphie who can’t wait for his morning walk. We take the same trail every day on the private road and amazingly, he never grows weary of it. I’d love to stroll through the neighboring pasture or vineyard, but foxtails stick to Ralphie like glitter, and if we walked the vineyard we would be trespassing. The owner might think I’m a grape thief!

In the evening, I revisit most of the same rounds, gathering eggs, playing catch with Ralphie, bedding critters down, re-watering thirsty plants on hot summer evenings, and noting what needs tending too in the coming days. These chores are minimal compared to medium to large ranches, and the cowboys of those outfits would laugh at my small efforts. It certainly doesn’t read like much in text. Similar to the cowboys, though, the farm animals and gardens are vehicles into the faculties of my soul. This is why I stay up past midnight.

A country spread takes time, effort—, and money. A co-worker once told me, “Get rid of those animals. Sell everything and move into town. You’ll have money in your pocket.” What she didn’t understand is that my pockets are full of riches. By the end of the day, after closing the door to moonlit chores, I have filled each pocket with invaluable memories. I can spend and re-spend them as often as I want—they never depreciate. Copyright © 2010 Dianne Marie Andre



  1. Great write. I loved it, sorry it took so long for me to get to it.— Judy


  2. Dianne, Well finally we are back from our summer getaways. Though we don’t have quite a country spread, we do have a garden and yard to tend to. I can relate to the satisfaction from tending to chores that give you such a beautiful pay-off. I am ready to get dirty in the garden again. I am also looking forward to again reading your wonderful Blog/newsletter.


    • Sue,

      Welcome back. I hope you had a wonderful time filled with special memories. It’s almost time to rake and store the black compost before the acorns fall. Of course, you won’t have to do this. When you have time, be sure to check out the Hot August Contest. It’s under Dianne’s Blog. The prize would be a perfect solution for all those photos you took on your getaways.

      Best regards, Dianne


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