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Appropriate Use of "Literally"

My transition from urban to rural has illuminated many English phrases I grew up with. I'm not even sure the current generations of kids is familiar with this agricultural heritage. But more on that in a moment. Think of the metaphors that come from a time when most people lived on farms. I have literally cried over spilled milk. We have literally had to make hay when the sun shines. We literally can not count our chickens until they hatch. Our friend Kelly was learning how to milk the goats, testing them out before possibly purchasing one. Every time she milked, she took home a jar of the white stuff for her dog. She didn't wind up buying one of our goats, because, as she said, "Why buy

Be Kind to History

Duke and Dolly are old horses. I don't know how old, or what kind of horses they are. They came to me as "Amish ponies from Iowa" and they follow the voice commands used by Amish teamsters. Marks and scars on their bodies tell the story of hard work. A lot of hard work. They have given me a bodily sense of the horse in history. Not the recreational riding horses I was familiar with, but the blood and bone that plowed, carted, and pulled throughout my own cultural history. I grew up reading Black Beauty, a book about a sometimes cruel horse-drawn world. Duke and Dolly are not in their prime, not fit for the hours of hard labor that a larger farm would require. Here, the need for soil t

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