altBeing cooped up in the house is no fun during the winter.

We have had a couple of very sick kids this past month. After the third trip to our local pediatric clinic, I decided it was time for some fresh air and sunshine –  no matter what the temperature was.

This past Saturday, the boys took off with their dad to do some dirt work up at our business office for the day. They came home dirty and tired, but they enjoyed being outdoors and helping their dad “work” while they played.

My youngest daughter and I saddled up a couple of horses and went trail riding all around Round Mountain. The fresh air was good for our souls and the horses seemed to enjoy the exercise. These are days for the memory books.

The following day the sun was shining, and the weather was beautiful. After church, the kids packed up a picnic lunch and disappeared for several hours. When they came home, they were full of stories about all the places they had explored on our land. They’d been to a place called the “fish rock” for their picnic. I’m pretty sure that it is located at the top of the hill behind our house. They’d tromped through the muddy edge of our little creek on a hike. They went up to “dead calf mountain” (probably near the brush pile we’ve started piling up near the edge of our property) and dug through some old bottles that had been dumped by someone.

They rode their motorcycles and Razors until they had snot bubbles coming out their noses. They revisited their swing set and playhouses, only coming back to the house to get a broom to straighten things up for their play space. They fed horses and played with the dogs until the sun was about to go down.

It was a perfect day to smoke some chickens in the smoker and take time to prepare a Sunday feast for my family. By the time they made it back to the house they were all dirty and starving. They hustled around to get cleaned up for supper. The dinner-time talk was them regaling tales of their exploration and adventures. Days like this are the happiest ones.

In a world where electronics and video games are the easiest way to entertain kids, I’m so grateful for this farm. It’s truly a fight against our culture to get kids off their screens to play outside. I know there is a saying, “a day in the country is worth more than a month in town.”

I take this to heart all the time when I shoo my children outside to play, explore and just simply use their imaginations to entertain themselves and their little friends.

As my husband was cleaning leaves out of our flower beds this past weekend, the bulbs were beginning to pop up out of the ground. I love seeing signs of spring up ahead.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to warm days, digging in the dirt and playing outside, neighbor.

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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