This is Quinton aka Q, my 9-year-old, very sociable, great-nephew.
He lives in Kinnear, Wyoming. On our trip into Wyoming, seeing Q and his parents was at the top of our agenda. Kinnear has a stable population of 44 and I’m sure Q knows every one of them. As he told us “I’ve lived here all my life.” Wyoming is a very hard place to live. The winters are cold, the summers hot and dry, and I’m pretty sure the wind always blows. But if you love it, you love it. Evidently Q’s parents’s do, and are willing to work very hard to live there. Q shares this love and would rather be at home, with his family, than anywhere else. He participates in all aspects of the family and the running of the place.
Much of the time you would think he was way past his years, listening to him talk and follow his dad around, then suddenly the kid in him surfaces. He is shooting grasshoppers with his BB gun (when he is suppose to be feeding the chicks,) loving on his kitten Pepples, or riding his bike down the gavel road as fast as he can,
just because he can.
He seems to know something about everything and if he doesn’t he has an opinion about it. Talking with everyone and anyone seems to be his favorite pastime only second to playing practical jokes. No one is immune from these pranks, me included. The morning we were going to leave I went to take a shower. When I turned on the water the hand-held shower was very carefully hung over the faucet facing out allowing the blast of cold water to hit me full force. What an eye opener! My drenching made his day.
I couldn’t help but think how different Quentin’s life is than our grandchildren’s. The grocery store is 18 miles away, the mall hours away, no Super Wal-Mart, no cell phone reception, slow computers, no local or neighborhood pools, no library, no traffic, and very little crime. Mom and Dad struggle to make the place productive, always fighting against the dry, arid conditions, the heat and cold, and this year grasshoppers. He is oblivious to these differences and acts like all nine-year olds, he watches Avatar every opportunity he gets, loves to be with his friends, eats a lot and frequently, is reading the Wimpy Kid series, and rolls his eyes and mumbles under his breath when displeased with Mom and Dad.
After four days it was time to move along. Q and I had ridden our bikes everyday so I had the opportunity to see the area surrounding their place. We picked gooseberries, I’d helped feed the chickens & chicks, watched the milking, cooked, played, and watched the sun come up and go down. My appreciation of Wyoming had changed from the start of the visit, not enough for me to relocate, but enough that it won’t be so long between visits. The quiet cool nights, the openness of the country, all the animals, and the friendliness of the people and neighbors make some of the hardships seem tolerable.