Updated: Mar 16
When the calendar turned over to February, I realized I had not yet chosen my word for the year. A stack of unwritten thank you notes gave me an idea, and after a few days of contemplation my 2022 word is “gratitude.”
Gratitude is defined as being thankful for someone or something. Showing gratitude is a way to express appreciation for life’s experiences, especially those desirable and helpful. By my standards, the word I choose should help make the world around me a better place to live.
Showing gratitude is not the same as making a new year’s resolution. Will my resolution to lose weight change the world? Probably not. Will my writing about why I love Linn County, help others be proud of their similar choice to live in a rural environment? Hopefully so.
With gratitude, I share why my address is in Linn County, Kansas. Simply put, this county is beautiful, not in the way some people see the mountains or the ocean, but rather through a different set of lens. The sun setting at the horizon of an ocean is no match to the peach and pinks of the sun dropping below a prairie hillside. One of my favorite views of a sunset was dusk as three deer walked across a ridge making them look like silhouettes.
We have gently rolling hills and fields of round hay bales creating a beauty of their own. A couple of young calves butting heads in play make me laugh. The gecko, lizard, salamander or whatever those little green reptiles are called entertain and amaze me. The owls, talking to each other during a mid-summer night, make me try to decipher their message to each other.
I should be embarrassed to drive a car with a paper napkin stuck along the top of the driver side window, but it is an example of ‘take the good with the bad’ in the country. Once upon a time, I left my car in the pasture overnight and my 1,800 pound horse must have rubbed his rear end against the door much as he does against a cedar tree. Numerous mechanical attempts to repair the window have proved unsuccessful, but a fast-food napkin seals the noise from the air leaking through the slit in the glass. And, it didn’t cost me $600. I may not have a perfect car since I drive it like the truck I don’t have, but I’m proud of country ingenuity.
Showing gratitude to our Linn County heroes, leaders, county employees, business owners and their staff, the clergy, school district personnel, and volunteers may come in the form of a thank you, verbal or written. An act of kindness yields bushels of goodness because such acts tend to grow from one person to another, and possibly multiply even more.
In future writings, I will address specific organizations that help make Linn County, Kansas a great place to live.
P.S. I don’t work for the Linn County Tourism Department. No such office in this county. The accolades I share represent my personal gratitude for the place I call home.
Rogene “Jeanne” McPherson is a writer who lives outside of Centerville. She recently published a book about her experiences entitled Posts from the Country, Adventures in Rural Living. It is available online in both virtual and printed editions, and soon at libraries across the county.