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Day 66: Raising Country Kids

Of the things I am most thankful for, one is the opportunity to raise my children in this wonderful place.

I have fabulous memories of a few short childhood years spent in an old, rambling country house. The home was set in the middle of an avocado orchard, and during the summer we could climb into them and eat right from the tree.

The orchard held other secrets, too -- a huge rock outcropping we could climb around and over, where my best friend and I played "archeologists" and actually unearthed more than a few animal bones.

There was also a ramshackle barn filled with mysterious treasures like a horse carved of stone and pilfered street signs. We were forbidden to play in the barn, which made it all the more intriguing.

Even after we moved back to the city, I vowed I would be back. Now that I am, I hope to give my kids their own country memories.

What will they remember of their childhood? Maybe the thrill of a new springtime chick. Or watching a tiny seed grow into a huge stalk of corn. Running through the gigantic manure pile. Riding on the back of Mom's horse through an almond orchard in full bloom.

But it will probably be the sometimes monotonous routine of our daily life (feed, water, weed) that they will remember most.

A few mornings ago, when it was 35 degrees outside and we were quickly trying to de-ice the hose so we could fill water buckets, muck stalls, feed, get back inside to change clothes and head into town for piano lessons, Kaylin looked at me.

"I feel sorry for city kids. They never get to do all this!"

I feel the same way.


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