Poet, essayist, novelist Wendell Berry captures country life as he knew it growing up in Kentucky – both specific and generic; his small world that was part of the greater world of simple living and simple lives throughout the U.S. In his novel A Place on Earth he sings a dirge about life and death, and loss of other kinds, set against the backdrop of a rural town emptied of its young men gone to war in the 1940's.

Most people are familiar with the term “Bible Belt” – a swathe of southern states from Texas east to the Atlantic Ocean in which (according to Wikipedia) “socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation’s average.” One of my friends who describes herself as an ambivalent Episcopalian asked me what that means in day-to-day living here in Texas.

Recently my cousin Sharon McAmis and I took a day trip to Cuero, Texas, to head up a cattle drive and to wander through the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum for a couple of hours. In the spirit of full disclosure I must admit that we punched our cattle AT the Museum and thank heavens there were two of us – those animals did not want to cross one of the many rivers along the trail.