In 1977 when we moved to Bonaire from Warner Robins, I thought my parents had taken me completely out of civilization.
On the five acres we moved to, there was no cable, no convenience stores in sight to support my Almond Joy candy bar habit, rusty well water, and we had a "party line" where we shared our telephone with our neighbors. For a teenager who was used to city living, it just couldn't get any worse than that. I had been moved to the wilderness!
My dad got us some chickens and roosters, a goat we named Bandit and a horse named Dan.
They all lived in the same fenced in area together. Bandit and I would try and out muscle the other by seeing who could push the other backward. With his head tilted in the butting position, he'd push against my hands trying to move me backward while I was pushing against his nubby little horns trying to move him backward. He'd usually win because if I didn't let him, he'd chase me around the pen bleating noisily and trying to butt me.
The first time my mom asked me to go out and gather up the chicken eggs was a real experience.
Imagine the look on my face when I looked in the nest and saw a brown egg. From where I came from (Warner Robins), we had white eggs there. It was also the first time I had ever really seen the whole "egg from a chicken" process. Sure, I knew that eggs came from chickens but it wasn't something I had ever really thought about. I was used to my eggs coming from the Piggly Wiggly in a nice little pink Styrofoam carton! After that day, it was a long time before I ate another egg.
Dan was a tired, old horse that we had gotten from a preacher. He used to hitch Dan up to an old wagon and drive him back and forth to church on Sundays because a "Sunday drive" was his top speed.
I told my dad I wanted a fast horse like the kind we'd see in the western movies. So he came home with two white ponies. One was pretty tamed but the other one had a wild streak; however, I didn't know that at the time I first got on him.
Not wanting to wait for a saddle, I decided to ride him bareback. I figured something so little couldn't possibly be that much trouble. As soon as I sat down on his back, I must have hit his "on" switch because he took off in the opposite direction that I wanted him to go. With me screaming frantically and trying to hold on to his mane, he galloped with great speed toward the back garden. Once he reached the corn, he abruptly stopped and bucked me off sending me flying across the butterbeans. I ended up with my face landing in the bean patch and a mouthful of dirt and string beans.
Eventually, I adapted to the country life leaving the city life behind and in time we got off the party line, got county water and cable. I even got a Moped that I could drive back and forth the one mile to the convenience store every day to get my Almond Joy. Thank God I'm a country girl!
Donna Hunter Glenn is a weekly columnist for the Houston Home Journal and Warner Robins Times Newspapers and is the principal decorator and owner of Addressing Rooms Interior Decorating and Home Staging in Warner Robins, GA.