I love the sounds of the rural place I live (except, of course, the #&*@ gravel pit noises). The redwing blackbirds are back, the cardinals are in full voice, Canada geese cruise overhead, and then there are the peepers. I roll my windows down and drive slowly past the wetlands, just to hear them better.
I love the surprise lawn ornaments. Two mornings ago, the dogs erupted into their full alert voices. Since it was before six thirty, I was pretty sure it was not to alert me that a vehicle was coming up the driveway. I looked out the front windows and ... there were six very BIG bovine girls making a beeline for my raised beds. I would have taken pictures, but the raised beds were in peril! I shot out the door, whooping and flapping my arms. The cows slowed slightly, then stopped and stared at me. Then very slowly turned and headed back to the road. They obviously decided it would be prudent to put some space between themselves and the crazy person. I herded them back around the corner, up the road and sent them up my neighbor's driveway. This man has seriously challenged fencing.
Another perk of country living is the up-close and personal relationship you have with every manner of rodent. I had been driving around for months, suffering from itchy, irritated eyes as soon as I was in my car for more than 10 minutes. When I took my car in (again) for some front suspension work, I asked my mechanic if he would have the filters looked at. The example above is now in the Midas Hall of Fame. That filter should be white. He asked if he could keep it to show customers. What - did he think I wanted it back? Good grief.
My dear, 80+ neighbor, Lisa - she of the 3x a week yoga and amazingly sunny personality - makes her own kombucha. I have tried making it myself, but it never has measured up to hers. She surprised me over the weekend by telling me she had been growing a kombucha scoby just for me and it was now ready to be re-homed. You could have knocked me over with a feather. So I hot-footed it over to her place and picked up my very own scoby (nestled in a gallon of her kombucha so I wouldn't have to wait a week or so...). She also gave me a half packet of peas and we marked out a place for her summer chicken home.
This thoughtfulness is nothing strange in my area. Neighbors look out for each other, lend a helping hand (asked or not) and don't interfere in your life (while knowing just about everything that goes on in it - including the color and conditions of your BGPs, should you happen to hang your wash on the line). My farmer neighbor was driving by on his way for evening milking recently, when he saw me standing behind my car - tailgate up, small freezer half on/half off. He braked, reversed and pulled up the driveway. While I tottered off to get the handcart, he reached in, grabbed the crate straps and hefted it out and walked it to the front deck. OMG. All I contributed was "wow" and "wow", as I trailed behind him. I tried to salvage any self-respect I could manage and told him I could handle it from there - but he put it inside for me anyway. From there I could wrestle it into its place on my own. With only the dogs as my witness. There was strong language involved.
I got a chill up my spine after reading a post by one of the bloggers I follow - a single woman with livestock who had a very scary 'wrestling match' with one of her goats. It made me realize that a) I need to keep my phone with me at all times, even if I only am 50 yards from my house and, b) I really, really, really miss Kay. There is no such thing as saying too much good about someone who will call you every morning and night to make sure you are okay. When she died, a great deal of my security was pulled out from beneath me.