I’m quite sure I had no way of knowing how blessed I was while growing up on a small, Middle Tennessee farm in the 1950s and 1960s.

Looking back, I can see it now, but I couldn’t see it then.

I think I experienced the good life, because back then, life seemed to have some order to it. When you grow up on a farm, you become acquainted with the order of the seasons — spring, summer, fall, and winter. They have followed each other, in succession, for more than 6,000 years (at least 6,000 years of recorded history of which we know, maybe even before then).

The seasons give life a rhythm. You can come to count on them. Some summers are hotter. Some winters are colder. Some springs are wetter. Some falls seem to come later, but they all follow each other as they should ... and they have done so for a long time.

Business motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, in speaking of the seasons, once said, “God is a genius. He placed spring right after winter.”

After you have experienced most winters, spring is a welcome guest.

When the world around you yawns and begins to awaken from winter’s sleep, something stirs within you which is hard to explain. I have lived that.

And on a farm, you get to witness, first-hand, the miracle of the seed and the soil, and the sun. And you have the privilege of marveling at the birth of calves and colts and piglets and lambs and kids (referring to goats). And you come face to face with the fact that death is a part of life.

Speaking of order, my father lived an ordered life. His day began promptly with breakfast at 6:30 a.m. It rarely varied. His breakfast consisted of breakfast meat (country ham, sausage or bacon), scrambled eggs garnished with mayonnaise, (he called it mayo-knees), and biscuits made from scratch.

And he ate dinner (which is what we called lunch back in the day) as close to noon as you could get. He was usually setting at the dinner table by 11:45, with the radio turned on.

At precisely 12 o’clock, he was listening to Noontime Neighbors on WSM. The show began with this jingle, “It’s noontime neighbors. Forget your labors. Every-body’s hap-py, and feelin’ fine. We’re glad to see you. Tell us how be you, and our friends on down the old party line — Kentucky, Al-a-bama, Tennessee, and Care-ro-line … any place along the Mason-Dixon Line. Then, you’re our neighbor, good farmin’ neighbor. Good friend-ly neighbor too.”

At the end of the song, the announcer would say, “From clear channel 650, WSM, it’s a friendly hello to all our noontime neighbors.”

Then, the larger-than-life voice of John McDonald would come on speaking of all things agriculture. My father’s ear was attuned to the farm market report — the price of wheat, soybeans and corn. He was especially interested in what was going on with livestock prices.

But back to the jingle ... I heard that jingle five days a week, 52 weeks of the year for 10 years or more. It kind of got stuck in my head.

In my years of growing up on the farm, I worked side by side with some great people — salt-of-the-earth people — people you could count on. We toiled together. We laughed together. And sometimes, we cried together. And somewhere along the way, growing up with my brothers and sister, it was instilled in me to love my neighbor. That’s what farm life did for me.

And like that jingle that got stuck in my head, what I learned on the farm got stuck in my heart.

I am witness to the reality that you can take the boy (or girl) out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy (or girl).

Hartsville resident Jack McCall is an author and motivational speaker.

Hartsville resident Jack McCall is an author and motivational speaker.

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