By Kim Carr:
Some of the things that make me happy:
Green grass. Especially in August. Extra Happy. I love all colors, but I think green in the natural world is my favorite. In a box of Crayola crayons, Asparagus green is my favorite.
Wooden fences. Just makes me think country. I am not sure why. Wooden fences can be found anywhere, but the wooden fence looks even prettier with critters in front of it. Secretly, I was hoping the cows would keep the weeds out of the fence row; guess I should have told the cows my expectations.
Fruit Trees. Have loved fruit trees since I was a kid and my grandparents had a small orchard. My pet chicken, White Feather (because she was a red chicken with one white feather), would sit on my shoulder, and we would spend hours in the orchard climbing trees, eating fruit . . . We would share and pretend we had to survive in the wilderness. Never mind the house was right there, as was Hwy 51. We didn't really care. The orchard was a haven. Of course, here on the farm, my fruit trees number five instead of fifty like my grandparents. I better get to planting. My great nephew loves to pick fruit to feed to the cows. He is not as big a fan of the chickens as I am, but he is only 5—I have time to convert him.
Farm animals make me happy. Cows make me happy. Baby cows make me happy. Animals in general make me happy. My chickens make me happy; I do wish they would poop somewhere other than the sidewalk, but that is minor. I love watching my ducks and guineas roaming the farm looking for bugs. Of course, my dogs and cats bring me great joy and provide much needed exercise as I get up from my desk and bed dozens of times day and night to let them in, out, in, out, in, out.
At the age of ten I decided I would become a farmer. I pretty much pictured what I have now, except the big barn. Just gives me something else to dream about. Maybe someday I will have a big barn, big enough for all my livestock and room to add more. Always need room for more. I would love to have room to store my hay, keep it dry and out of the weather. It would be grand if I could feed my animals in the barn or under an overhang so that they could be out of the sun or bad weather when they eat. A friend joined me the other day for a photo shoot. The farm had two big barns. One was over 100 years old and looked as good and sturdy as any barn need be. My friend commented how she had “Barn Envy” (trust me, it’s a thing—I had it too).
Does anyone else dream about barns? Dreams can change over time. The first and only time I visited the St. Louis Science Center (I need to return—it was maybe thirty years ago), there was a bridge/tunnel over the highway that you could walk through. It had big clear manhole-type covers in the floor so that you could look down and see the traffic pass below. My dreams changed that day. Then I started dreaming about living in a barn—the loft part—and I would have clear manhole covers in the floor so that I could look down into the stalls and open area of the barn to check on my animals. That would really be living the dream, but I have no complaints even though I can’t look through my clear manhole in the floor to see my beautiful critters; instead, I look out the clear manhole in the wall they call a window. This works sufficiently, it just lacks the glamor and coolness effect.
My list of happy things is long. I could go on and on, but I need to go collect eggs and water cows. In a time of uncertainty, it gives me comfort in knowing the things I love have not changed, nor has my opportunity to enjoy them. I have found there is great joy in living a simple life and appreciating the little things. I have much to be thankful for and am grateful for my little slice of heaven.
Kim Carr is a photographer and mid-Missouri hobby farmer who has combined her love for the country life with that of natural-light photography. Her work reflects my commitment to sustainable agriculture and the humane treatment of all animals. To learn more about Kim, read her interview with Elizabeth Gracen here.
To purchase Kim's photography, visit her website.