Turn down the noise and news; turn up the sunshine

Sandy Turner
Down home

It’s no secret, I’m a news junkie, but I'm even getting fed up with the media. I realize there’s a whole lot of really bad stuff happening right now, but can’t they take a break once in a while and report on something positive?

Sandy Turner

It’s a lot to take in and sometimes I just have to tune it out. As a nation who touts, “United we stand,” we’re fighting amongst ourselves, which makes us even more vulnerable to the bad people who do bad things. It’s a sad time for our country and then to top it off, we are in a pandemic that seems to get scarier by the minute.

Thank goodness I know what my stress relievers are and don’t have to go too far to find them. I can’t cut out talk radio altogether, but I made a compromise with myself, so halfway through the day I switch over to another favorite station called, “The Farm.”

It’s a country music station, and I do love the music, but listening to the hog reports is one of my most favorite things to settle down to. I have no idea what the reports mean, but it's a soothing monotone of information that is neither good or bad. It's just information with the words hog, cattle and corn-fed thrown in to give it a good ol' down home feeling of, everything really is going to be OK.

I’ve also been taking the back roads into town and back home. Some days I just need to avoid sitting at a stoplight to watch people who are more interested in their cell phones instead of what’s going on around them. When I take the back roads I’m reminded of how simple life really is and all the good that lies beyond the bad. It’s a really good day when the train comes through and I have to sit and look at the fields of soybeans and corn while listening to the clickety-clack of the tracks.

If listening to hog reports isn't your thing, I suggest mowing for some really good therapy. There’s never been a time I’ve finished mowing and thought, thank goodness I’m done. It’s mindless and relaxing. Other stress relievers I’ve come to rely on involve listening to grandchildren giggling, tree frogs, attic fans, chirping birds and crickets and, of course, eating warm chocolate chip cookies.

Regardless of what happens in this country or on foreign soil, there's little we can do besides keep on keeping on. It’s seems silly to waste too much time worrying what's going to happen next, since we have no control over anyone but ourselves. Sometimes just fixing ourselves will fix others.

I finished mowing but wasn’t done being outside. With my headphones still tuned into “The Farm,” I decided to take a walk down to the pond. Sitting on the dock, the lyrics to this song seemed to say what I was feeling.

“And it's a great day to be alive. I know the sun's still shining when I close my eyes. There's some hard times in the neighborhood, but why can't every day be just this good,” – Travis Tritt.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com.