Travel & Outdoor
Country Extra

Country Extra March 2018

See more of America's countryside with every issue of Country EXTRA!  Country EXTRA is delivered in between your issues of Country.  Celebrate the people, places and stories that make country life so special. Discover America through first-hand reader visits with country folks, full-color photos, reviews of country inns, country-fresh recipes and time-saving tips and shortcuts.

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7 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
the race to spring

MARCH IS THE END of a marathon called winter. As the month begins, some of us are still bundled up in our cold-weather best, sloshing through old snow. Though it feels as if spring will never come, the snow eventually melts and the daffodils bloom. The stories in this issue will help get you to the finish line. On page 10, Joy Boone’s Catawba Crafters may inspire you to pick up a crochet hook. The group makes hats for the homeless, and their story is an example of the impact a small gesture can make. Then, on page 44, Barbara Steinhorst introduces you to a Wisconsin couple who preserved the legacy of the family farm by moving into the barn. Finally, veterinarian Erika Eigenbrod recounts treating a duck in distress (page…

1 min.
country online!

Find all sorts of extras from Country readers on Facebook, rd.com and Instagram. If you aren’t yet visiting rd.com or following us on social media, here’s what you’re missing: Photo of the day Tammy Wiedenbeck shared this image of a sweet calf that needed a little extra TLC. facebook.com/countrymagazine Kimberlee Meeks shows spring’s beauty at her bed-and-breakfast in Newark, New York. instagram.com/country.magazine Check out rd.com/train to learn about a stunning 3,400-mile cross-country rail trip.…

1 min.
everyone has a story... what’s yours?

GOOD NEIGHBORS Having someone you can always count on is a blessing. Has a special neighbor, friend, co-worker or local organization made a difference in your life or community? Give these good Samaritans the recognition they deserve by sending us photos and telling a story about them. MAKE US LAUGH Rural life produces its fair share of side-splitting moments. Here at Country and Country Extra, we love nothing more than a good laugh. Share your silliest stories and jokes, and send us those pictures of the amusing antics and quirky sights you’ve seen across America. THE COUNTRY ALMANAC Is there a wonderful local tradition or event that you’d like to share with readers across the country? Tell us what’s happening in your neck of the woods in 2018. Send us a few lines describing the…

1 min.
the joy of rain

I’ve always loved rain. I guess when you grow up on a farm, you just know how closely life is connected to it. I love the smell of rain. The scent of a fresh spring storm isn’t quite like that of a humid summer storm, a crisp fall shower or a raw winter rain. And I love the sound even more. The other day, I sat on our back porch and listened to the rain softly pelt our wind chimes. The sound of raindrops landing on plants varies from one to the next—the melody of rain falling on tiny pine needles differs from rain falling on the huge leaves of a sycamore tree or the delicate blossoms of a butterfly bush. The next time it rains, whether it’s a soft drizzle or a…

1 min.
handmade with love

UNTIL DEMENTIA TOOK my mother’s life, she and I crocheted hats for the homeless and passed them out after working second shift. After losing my mother, I didn’t want to let the homeless folks down, as they depended on these hats, so my dear friend DeeDee Griffis and I founded a local crochet group called Catawba Crafters. At our first meeting, there were three of us. Today we have nearly 200 Facebook members. In the past four years, we have crocheted over 5,000 items and donated them to those in need. We also put boggins (knitted hats) and snacks in zip bags for homeless people and hang them in trees around the local area. Recently one man asked about the yarn around the bottom of a hat we had given him. I…

1 min.
the best season

Mom’s lettuce bed was the first sign of spring around our house. Another little spot was fixed for the peas and radishes, and that was long before Mr. Egler brought his team of horses to plow and prepare our quarter-acre garden. It’s hard for me to describe how I felt when I heard him coming up the rocky drive with his wagon with the turn-over plow and other equipment. Soon the smell of freshly turned ground permeated the whole hillside. Following along with a tin can, I grabbed what fishing worms I could before Mr. Egler scolded me for getting in his way. Today, I still feel the exuberance of spring. I watch for the first robins. I listen to whip-poor-wills giving poor Will a whipping and quails calling for their uncle…