By Jody Fuller
I reckon I’m a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, but since I don’t really listen to rock and roll, I’d have to say I’m more country than anything else. I’m not saying I’m country as a turnip green, but I did eat a plate full of them on New Year’s Day. You are what you eat, right?
All my family is from the country—way out in the country. Both sides of my family were raised in the same area and on the same road for the most part. People on both sides of my family are related to each other from different directions. I’m not insinuating any skullduggery went on back in the day. It was just a tight knit community. They were country folk. They were my people.
While I was born and raised in the big city of Opelika, I spent a large chunk of my youth at my grandparent’s home in those parts. Granddaddy always had a big garden. He had just about every kind of fruit tree imaginable, too. He had a barn, too. My brother and I spent a lot of time playing in that barn. We got goats for Christmas one year. Now if that ain’t country, you can…listen to a David Allan Coe song and finish this sentence.
He kept two cans next to the back door. One was for compost and the other was a slop bucket for the dogs. They ate turnip greens, too, or whatever else we didn’t eat. It was a different time. They were country.
I’ve been away from that country lifestyle for a very long time. Not that I was ever Mr. Green Jeans, but I am trying to get my hands and boots dirty again. Last week I fed cows a couple of times and even learned to drive and operate a tractor. I did things I never imagined doing just a couple of years ago, but it’s so much fun learning to do new things, particularly when it’s in your blood.
When we were feeding the cows, I was careful not to step in any of the cow patties. I asked my buddy David, a real country boy from South Alabama, if he looked down when he walked. “If you’re looking down, you can’t see where you’re going,” he said. Country folks are wise people. Make no mistake about it. After that, I just walked wherever my boots took me. It’s not like I was wearing flip flops.
I got some on my hands, too. It came from the string on one of the hay bales after I moved it with the tractor. Before that, we had to cover up one of the large stacks of hay as the wind had blown the tarp off earlier. They had to have stood 15 feet high. David stood on top, grabbed his side of the tarp, and rappelled down the side. “That’s all you do,” he explained. So, I stood on top, grabbed my side of the tarp, and slowly slid down the hay like an alligator off a muddy bank into the water.” Maybe next time, David.
There’s a nice size pond out there, too, which becomes infested with beavers several times a year. We are planning on trapping some soon. I’m sure there’ll be a story there.
Ove the past year, I planted a garden, caught and cleaned fish, and used a chain saw to cut my own fire wood. The chain saw really did a number to my cow milking muscles, but they’ve finally healed up, so who knows? Maybe that’s next since I’ve never milked a cow. I love trying new things, especially when I never saw any of them coming. Each day is an adventure.
Life ain’t nothing but a funny funny riddle, Thank God I’m a Country Boy
Jody Fuller is from Opelika. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.