….you better like mud. (My boots, yesterday, as I was leaving Beulah Petunia Land, post-milking.)
The other day, when I wrote about my day and a half, some people commented that I should write a post like that every once in a while so you don’t think farm life is too idyllic. (You can find another similar post here: A Hard Day’s Morning.)
Farm life, and any type of life, is only beautiful if you want it to be. Otherwise, life in general is pretty ordinary, and often, quite difficult. Farm life has its own unique difficulties. You don’t want to hear me whine about those difficulties every day. It wouldn’t be helpful for me personally, either, to dwell on the difficulties. I share them occasionally as part of humorous stories (as I try myself to see the humor). I don’t mean to pretend that farm life, or my life, is without obstacles, disappointments, pain, or sadness. But I don’t think gnashing my teeth over that stuff is the service I have to offer.
I’ve told this story before, but I’ll tell it again. This website was inspired by The Slanted Little House post. I didn’t write that post for this website. I wrote it for another website. One day I saw a small piece in one of the Charleston newspapers announcing a new website for West Virginia creative artists, asking for submissions from creative people in WV. I contacted them and eventually wrote a piece for them. When it was ready, I wrote to them again to submit it. And never heard from them. Ever. Eventually, I decided not to waste the work I’d put into the piece so I published it on my blog, which at that time was a small romance writer’s blog. I probably had something like 50,000 pageviews a month back then. That was in September, 2007. I really wasn’t sure if I should publish it on my blog as it didn’t fit in with my blog’s tone and topics at the time. I almost didn’t publish it. But I just couldn’t bring myself to waste the work I’d put into the piece, and I thought it was good. It made me cry every time I read it. It came from my heart.
And nothing I’d written for a long time had really come from my heart. Lo and behold, just when I thought I had nothing left to say and should quit writing entirely, I realized I had so much more to say.
The response to that post surprised me. And changed my life. And changed this website. By December, 2007, I had changed the name, design, and tone of this site, and that is how Chickens in the Road was born. I realized I could inspire and motivate and move people in a way that was positive, and I felt as if all the hardships I’d gone through in my life suddenly made sense and had purpose. I determined to leave romance writing and devote myself full-time to this website. From the day of the Slanted Little House post to now, you as my readers give me a service that is incredibly fulfilling to me. THANK YOU. This month, this website had over 600,000 pageviews. (I am amazed.) I am a believer. Follow your heart. You can’t go wrong.
Here’s a little secret–at the same time I find fulfillment in serving you, what I write here serves me. Life is difficult. I’m not always happy. But what I write here helps bring me to a focus, reminds me of why I’m doing this, why this ordinary farm life is splendid, and helps me see the beauty in every day. It is my daily affirmation.
See, I don’t just do this for you. I do it for me, too. Life is every bit as beautiful as I paint it. It just takes a little due diligence to see it through the trees.