OPINION: A little bit country and a little bit not

Looking at life with teenagers in this weekly column.

I got to hang out with a couple of really cool teenagers last weekend and, in the process, I forgot all about what wasn’t important and was reminded of what really was.

“Do the laundry, change the sheets, water the flowers, buy groceries, plan the menu for the week, scrub out the bathrooms, clean out the fridge, etc. etc., I had written resolutely on a boring to-do list.

And then the phone rang. “Thank goodness,” I thought to myself.

“What time are you picking up the girl?” asked my daughter.

“Right away,” I replied, automatically crumpling up the list and tossing it in the garbage.

I picked her up in the city where she lived. It was high afternoon and the hot sun sizzled off the pavement and ricocheted off my windshield.

My granddaughter was wearing blue jeans, socks, running shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and a T-shirt.

I slid a grandmotherly eye over her attire.

“Warm, isn’t it?” I said. She nodded.

Without further ado, she climbed into my car, immediately reaching for the air conditioning, which works, but only sometimes.

“Sorry, honey,” I said. She said nothing.

And so it began.

Our adventure.

We turned our wheels west. We had decided to go visit a cousin/friend who lived on a farm in that direction.

My granddaughter is a city girl with a country girl’s soul. I would say she loves all of God’s creatures, great and small. She seems to have a kinship with all kinds of animals, whether they hop, fly, saunter, trot or simply want to roll over and be petted.

My niece, whom we were going to visit, is more than a little country. She is totally happy when she is out with the cows, feeding the chickens or simply cuddling with one of the furry and soft feline creatures who believe they own the farm and, for that matter, the world.

“Are we almost there,” my granddaughter questioned when we had barely left the city limits.

“Almost,” I fibbed.

As it turned out the distance between country and city living was not be very far at all. In fact, I think it was about the length of the Beatles CD, I had picked up for my Beatle loving granddaughter the other day. I swear that girl should have been a teenager in the ‘60s when Beatle mania raged.

Anyway, our afternoon at the farm was so doggone nice. I think we both felt a little more countrified when we left than when we came, and, we were, for sure, all the better for it.

I settled down in my niece’s bright, homey kitchen for a cup of coffee and a good, old-fashioned homespun visit. The girls had already slipped off to visit the puppies, or so I thought.

Moments later the youngest boy came bursting into the kitchen. “The girls have gone riding,” he said, nonchalantly.

“Horseback riding” I muttered in disbelief. “I don’t think Emilie rides.”

Well, it turned out I was wrong. As of that day, she did. Ride, that is.

So she rode horses, petted cows and cats and dogs and made friends with the rabbits, but not the geese.

But, mostly she smiled.

And that made me smile.

It’s true. This smiling thing. It’s contagious!

Treena Mielke is the editor for the Rimbey Review

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