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Down on the farm

Down on the farm
Out of the woods.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My great grandfather Matthew Nettle, owned the farm Uncle Orville purchased just before he retired from the St. Louis Post Office. He was an Anderson and Aunt Hazel (Campbell) was my mother's oldest sibling. Both families had and still do live in Franklin County, Missouri.
The farm is 500 acres that would probably double in size is you could iron it out. With hills, gullies, creeks, dry creek beds, forests, bluffs, caves and a few tiny fields and ponds, it is beautiful and more than a little dangerous. My uncles killed wolves in the woods above the house. Coyote dogs killed and ate a flock of ducks. Lambs and calves disappear entirely on occasion. The family pony, April wandered down the hill, never came home and was never found. The sheep kill rattlesnakes in the old barn every day.
But there has never been a smell like that of the cedar woods at any time, but especially after a rain. There's fresh washed odor with an ancient tang at the back of your head that says heaven is very near here and has been, forever.
The stone in the shelter of the towering cedars is carmel colored, and so smooth and beautiful you want to taste it like candy. A shelf of this stone forms part of the old road down to the cabin. Chips from horse shoes and cuts from iron wrapped wagon wheels can be seen when you know what you are looking for. Cool and smooth on the hottest, dustiest day, I think it must be God's footstool.