Growing up, living in the "country" was often seen as a negative. My classmates and I would talk about how we couldn't wait to go to college and live in a city, really experience life, as if somehow we weren't really living in RC. For some reason, we always assumed that we were missing out on something of significant importance in our lowly town.
As I got older, I began to hear it from people I came in contact with. Questions like: "What do you do down there anyway? Sit on the porch and whittle?" or "Is everybody barefoot and pregnant down there?" I sometimes felt that other people assumed things about me because I was from a small town. Not so good for an insecure teenage girl.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the city (and this post is not meant at all to detract from people who love their own towns and cities), and especially how much I love to travel. Jason and I take every opportunity presented to us to visit new places, meet new people, see new cultures, and experience everything the city, country, beach, or any place has to offer.
However, I've just begun to realize in the last couple of years, since Connor was born especially, how thankful I am to have grown up where I did.
I live in a town where people honk at you as you walk down the street, not because they are angry, but because they know you.
Where Connor and I can take a stroll down the road and see adorable calves.
Where said calves lick my hand and barnyard cats rest lazily in the sun.
Where the smell of manure just might meet me when I walk outside...and I don't really mind it anymore.
Where my closest neighbors are milk cows.
Where it takes 15 minutes to get to "town" and thirty minutes to get to the nearest Walmart.
Where Connor will grow up, I hope, learning about life through nature and its beauty right outside his door.
It might have taken me over twenty years to realize it, but I appreciate my little town, the people in it, and the opportunities it has provided me. I think it had a large part in shaping me into who I am today.
As with all places, RC has its negatives, but it is a community I can honestly say I am proud to call home. I hope to expose Connor to lots of places and people, but I hope he will someday see our "ridge" the way I do now. No matter where he lives or travels, I hope he loves that he can always call Gosser Ridge home.