Back Home But The Grinch Stole Christmas 2012


The Ozarks this fall, were more beautiful than folks who lived here all their lives could remember.
After a long hot summer of a second year drought, we were ready for cool weather, but just as the leaves began to change, my wife got a job in Florida, so in two weeks we were right back in summer.
That was in October and our stay took us all the way through November where we had Thanksgiving on a mild summer’s day. We watched the sunset over the Ozarks every night but we could only see the waters of the gulf. I am now back in the Land of Oz and am told that Christmas is just a couple weeks away.

My first morning back I awoke and went out to survey our property and check on the animals. The silence was not silent but peaceful, holy peaceful. I forgot. The forest never is still, there is always movement; it’s alive down to the smallest things you can’t see to things so preternatural you can only feel. The wind in the trees was not traffic, but the wind in the trees. Sometimes the trees are so loud it’s like God roaring out to get my attention and look up.
After living in Florida and going everywhere for the past two plus months on concrete, the feeling of uneven ground under my feet was something I never considered a joy before. I felt myself once again as a man on the face of the earth. The Ozarks – Oz is really in me now and other places I once called home before are distant in thought and conversation.

The chickens know no cold and the steer is fat and ready for slaughter. In a week the steer’s (Stew) life will end as the happiest cow on the planet to serve the needs of our hungry family. I have been feeding Stew so much sweet feed to fatten him up and keep him warm that I’m surprised he doesn’t show signs of diabetes. But he is happy and fed and I will miss him dancing and prancing up to me when I go out to visit him.

Today the snow flurries out my window and a fire dances in my woodstove. I can hear the new Neil Young album playing in the other room. In the next room my wife is painting a picture. I’m still amazed and grateful that we were transported to this place. I just can’t imagine that I could have ever made a decision this good. I give thanks.

I’m going to take a dark corner here and talk about Christmas so some of you might want to leave the room.

The world is a much different place since we first arrived here five years ago with the economic crash, wars for oil, and our own government whittling back our civil rights one by one. Who would have thought that Americana would take such a hit and turn upside down where good is called evil and evil is called good. Doubts and fears are still in many hearts as uncertain times stand in the wings with sword rattling.

Hope still remains the same in that death has no sting.
But that’s death and there’s still a lot of work to do here and change we must.

As long as neighbor’s still live in the illusion of separateness from one another whether in socioeconomics, philosophy or religion, the family of America remains weak. Sitting in ones own corner looking out for ones own interest does not create community. To take hold of your own hand and shake an agreement with yourself is like standing in the mirror thinking you have someone who will watch your back.
To change this one thing would change everything that’s wrong with America.
We are not separate from our neighbor and we must learn to love them as our own.

This year’s election was an embarrassment to how ugly people can be. There were a lot of folks who turned their backs on family and friends over political differences. Lies and accusations were on the lips of those who allowed the media to think for them. Still, no one knows the truth, only what they’ve been told. The media on the left and the right fed their particular “in group” what they wanted to hear then those American’s reacted by turning on each other and undermining the very thing this country was built on, solidarity – We The People.

With this kind of behavior, hope for peace on earth, good will towards men is something only in a song because you still only love God as much as the one you love the least.

We are talking about Christmas here right?? Yes we are!

Published in: on December 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That was beautiful Greg, but all of your Ozark letters are. I miss my brother’s ranch. He lost it almost two years ago. We raised our own beef also, but we called them freezers. They started out as freezer 1, and progressed as the numbers multiplied ha ha. Anyway I used to love riding in the mountains. I think I miss that the most!!! 

    Keep writing, and I will keep reading your wonderful blogs!! I still miss you at the library, and think of you often. I hope you come back for a visit one day. I am sure you and Cathy are very happy to be home.


    >________________________________ > From: Letters From The Ozarks Blog >To: >Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 5:16 PM >Subject: [New post] Back Home But The Grinch Stole Christmas 2012 > > > >lettersfromtheozarks posted: ” The Ozarks this fall, were more beautiful than folks who lived here all their lives could remember. After a long hot summer of a second year drought, we were ready for cool weather, but just as the leaves began to change, my wife got a job in Florid” >

  2. Thank you Louise. I miss that ole library too, but most of all, everyone who works there. Still not in sight when we might return for a visit but I’ll let you know!

    Take Care, Gregg

  3. I enjoyed reading this post so much that I went back and read from your archives. My mother grew up in the Ozarks (McDonald County, MO) and my dad grew up in the Appalachians (near Birmingham, AL), so I have always had a love for these types of mountains. My parnets, and two of my brothers now live in the Ozarks, North Central AR, and I will soon join them due to a feeling of homesickness.

    I can see the fire and hear Neil Diamond as you wife paints, and I look forward to the same ease as I relocate. Kansas City may not be the largest metro area in the country, but as compared to the Ozarks it is a veritable cacophonous monster.

    Thanks for the letters, and I hope to read more in the future.

    • Gaines,
      It’s a very high compliment to have another writer like ones work. Thank you very much, it means a lot and I really appreciate you taking the time to say so.
      We have kids living down in Mountain Home, Arkansas and we actually enjoy the forests and rivers of Northern Arkansas more than Missouri’s. However we have stayed from moving there because of its controversial reputation of locals drinking from the rivers down there after Missourians have peed in up stream. It never occurred to me until writing this that Arkansas being only 49th in the union in education may be because we unzip so often. Other than that, I’ve never held it against them for lacking organizational skills and losing the war. Besides, some of my best acquaintances are from Arkansas ;^)

  4. I love your letters.I wish I could write like that.I have a lake home in Lakeview Ar.and love to relax on my deck and watch the boats go by.

    • Thank you for writing Vickie. I love decks, water and sailing boats too. Your place sounds awesome!

      • Your writing is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.Maybe a trip on my pontoon boat could inspire some more writing.Vickie Hopper

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