I was a town girl.
My daddy was the preacher, and we lived in the manse just a little short block from the church on Main Street. It seemed like all of my friends lived out in the country. Looking back on it, we all lived in the country because Centreville, Mississippi was in the middle of nowhere, though it was the center of my little world.
My best friend, Nona lived on a farm out on Old Macedonia Road. It thrilled and terrified me when her momma, Aunt Kay (pronounced ain't) said we could saddle up the horse and go for a ride. Aunt Kay wasn't my real aunt, but this was southern Mississippi, and since Nona and I were so close, it just didn't feel right to call her Miss Kay, or the more formal Mrs. Hughes. No, in Centreville, she was just Aunt Kay.
Usually, Nona and I'd ride their old Shetland pony, Sunshine. Even I wasn't afraid of Ole Sunshine. But sometimes we'd saddle up the real horse...the tall ones. Of course, all horses were big compared to Sunshine. I could ride Sunshine till the cows came home, which, incidentally, they did every evening around five. No, these horses were so big that it scared me a little bit. Oh, I don't remember their names, but I do remember their hot hides, and the way they would look at me when I tried to hoist myself in the saddle. I never could remember which side to get up on, and which side to slide off, so both the horse and I were a little nervous. But getting to ride a real big horse....oh, that was something exciting, special.
And at the end of the day, somebody'd come pick me up and we'd go back to our house in town. As much as I liked riding horses and running through the pastures, going back to town suited me just fine -- still does.