Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2.5 Miles

2.5 miles. A very short road. A road called Neff.

When I started writing this blog over a year ago, I debated on the title: Back the Lane? Country Girl? On the Farm? A Place Called Home? So many choices. Finally, I settled on Neff Road, because it is about the life back the lane off the road as well as the community that was rural Darke County. It is about a little road that was part of everyday living for this once little girl who grew up with cows and chickens, tractors and crops, church and community.

My story on that little road is the story of rural life, a story of a child growing up during post war years. A child experiencing change in a nation, in a home. Neff Road could well be in Iowa, Georgia, Oregon or any other state. It is a story of friendship, religion, love and sometimes even disappointment. My road influenced the lives of the children who lived along it. A writer, a superintendent of schools, a minister, a missionary, a teacher, providers for families and wonderful mothers. The adults were counselors, our other parents, our protectors, our teachers. The land was our security, roots that bound us to nature, land that fed us and provided a living. Neff Road was all of 2.5 miles of love and caring.

In many ways, I have tried to bring that feeling of unity, of family, along with me to Oregon. I know what it is like to live surrounded by homes where I was always welcomed. The embrace that I felt there has stretched all the way to here. Hopefully, my blog stretches those feeling beyond.

I write this blog not for me, but lengthen Neff Road just a bit more bringing that community, that embrace beyond the 2.5 miles. There is hope and change for those of us who have an opportunity to express and share. In some small way, perhaps we can tell of a simplicity of life that can still be part of us today. A glimpse into yesterday threading its way through all tomorrows.

I was nurtured and fed by my years on Neff Road. Now I pass it on.

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