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I’m a relative newbie to country life. I didn’t grow up on a farm or ranch. In fact, I’ve always lived smack dab in the middle of town. So when I entered the life of a horse keeper, I noticed something about country folk.

They’re friendly.

Not overly gushing, you’re-suddenly-my-BFF kind of friendly.

It’s much more cautious.

It’s I-see-that-we’re-driving-on-the same-road kind of friendly.

The way this is communicated is with a wave.

I call it the country wave.

The country wave isn’t a parade wave, like the ones you get from the newly installed homecoming queen or this year’s rodeo queen or the guy running for county commissioner.

And it’s not an exuberant wave, like you’re flagging down a helicopter come to rescue you from a deserted island.

The country wave is subtle.

It’s a tip of the hand.

You don’t even have to remove you hands from the steering wheel. You simply lift a finger or two, and half-point, half-wave at the oncoming vehicle.

I’ve even seen the country wave done as a head nod, with no hands involved.

Maybe it’s a throwback to the handsome cowboy tipping his hat to the ladies.

In any case, I like it.

I’ve learned to do it.

It makes me feel connected.

And welcome. Like the world is a friendly place.

It helps me feel that I’m a part of something bigger than myself.

Just for the heck of it, I’ve tried doing the country wave in town.

It doesn’t work.

Drivers in other cars either ignore the wave completely, or shoot me a look that telegraphs their thoughts. As in “What kind of nut job are you?”

The answer to that question of course, remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, I add the country wave to my ever-growing list of reasons that I love making the daily trip to the pasture to see my two old sweeties.


So here’s my question for you: Would you be willing to join me in starting a movement? Let’s acknowledge our fellow drivers with a country-turned-townie wave. It just might  make the roads a safer place.

And we could all use that.