In Town: “We live on top of Fire Tower Road in Compton, Ark., which I believe, had one of the last fire towers taken down in Arkansas. That makes our house 20 or 30 miles from one of four towns and 12 miles from Kingston, Ark. As a result my town life is spread all over. I work as an administrative assistant for Farm Bureau in Jasper and for my husband, Randy, who is the Newton County agency manager. I am also an Arkansas Master Florist and run a floral business with my mother out of the house that my grandparents built in 1942 in Kingston. I love taking Arkansas materials such as wasp and bird nests as well as rocks and pine cones to incorporate into my silk and fresh arrangements. In 2011, I was the wedding planner for several weddings of various sizes. The last one was a three-day affair with dinner the first night for 50, the entire wedding ceremony the next day, and then breakfast the next morning for 125.”
In the Country: “We have 100 acres and got our ranching started from calves my dad gave us. The money from the small herd has helped pay for our children’s educations and other expenses.”
How do the two types of living blend together?
“I have the blessing of the beauty and serenity of the land. The long drive home that some folks may see as a disadvantage keeps me sane and is better than any therapist. That’s when I talk to God the most. Country life and small farms are slowly disappearing because you need to work off the farm to make it. It’s a shame more young people can’t have the farming experience and get to know folks from the farming community. They are my kind of people.”
Future Plans: “We are starting to think about retirement and may have to eventually move into town, but we always want a place to grow a garden and share country living with our children and grandchildren. Right now I want to keep sitting for my grandson until he gets in school. Who knows, with the economy like it is, we may have to increase our herd size to supplement our retirement.”
Story and Photo By Terry Ropp