by Rhonda Osborne, CEO

My mother lives “in the country” in the same house that she and my father built in 1948.  It is the house where I was “raised”.  She is at a point in her life’s journey in which she requires someone with her at all times.

I have enjoyed most of the drives to and from her home, as I live and work “in the city”.  I have approximately 18 minutes in the morning and evening to prepare for, or wind down, from my day.  I had forgotten how peaceful the country scenery could be.  The grass is green, everything looks “fresh” from the spring rain, the black cows chew grass, and I relax and just take a deep breath.  With that deep breath there was putrid odor – country perfume!  Oh my!  It would take your breath!  In the country, farmers distribute chicken litter (with chicken manure) from chicken houses on their pastures as fertilizer.  That is the source of country perfume.  This odor distracted me from the beauty of the scenery.  Then, I realized without the act of fertilizing, in this case, using putrid smelling chicken litter, the soil would not bear the beautiful green grass for those black cows to eat and for me to have a view of serenity.

Life is a bit like county perfume.  We have disappointments, frustrations and hurts that distract us from the beauty around us that we just think stinks!  Mom probably thinks losing her independence stinks, that having her daughters to care for her stinks.  Not being chosen for a group or sport or job stinks.  Without stinky episodes in our life journey, would we recognize our joys?  And, when recognized would we be as thankful for the joys?

Country.RainbowYesterday on my way back to mom’s, the “scent” of the country perfume had subsided.  The cows were mooing and chewing.  There were showers that nourished the ground so the substance (fertilizer) of the country perfume could do its work.  Then I Iooked towards the overcast sky.  There was patch of blue with a beautiful rainbow.  I appreciate God speaking to me…even when there are stinky times, His promises remain.