“You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.”
I cannot count how many times I have heard this phrase used in reference to me and the way that I am. I’m a country girl. I always have been and I always will be. Some people might look down on this, saying that I’m a little backwards or set in ways that were popular back in the 1800’s but I’m quite proud of where I come from and the lifestyle I choose to lead.
In my jewelry box drawer, buried under a stack of small pictures, is a cigarette lighter with a cowboy boot and the word “Country” etched into the leather-like exterior. It was given to me while I was in college by one of my best friends who told me that as soon as he saw it on the counter at the convenience store he had to buy it for me. You see, he used to call me “Country” because he always said that I seemed so out of place with all of the city kids that came to the school seeking higher education. He would call me simple and naive yet strange because, like him, I was a Computer Science major. In his mind, the quaint life associated with living in the country and technology blended together as well as oil and water. I just didn’t fit the mold of your typical geek.
Truth be told, I love the conveniences of modern life. The loss of power to my home due to wind storms as a result of Ike last week was terrible. I didn’t know what to do with myself having no electricity, running water, and God forbid, no internet. Although I enjoy all of those things, I still appreciate the the serenity and simplicity living in the country provides.
Growing up, I always believed that I would move away from this tiny spot on the map, and I managed to do so for a while. I went to college but somehow found my way back. I never thought I would take after my parents, who have an affinity for all things hick like none I have ever known. It is because of them I’ve embraced gardening and a little bit of farming, the idea of putting up food by way of canning for the winter, and being able to walk out my door into the beauty of the state game lands that border my property.
So go ahead. Take me out of the country. I’ll probably embarrass you with my weird, backwoods accent and my inability to handle myself in a large city but know I’ll be true to myself. I’m a high-tech sort of redneck, a strange breed who, if you take the chance to get to know, will talk about everything from Ruby to raising chickens and why I love my Mac to why I love my Ball Blue Book of Preservation. Be a good friend and I might even knit you a pair of socks. Just don’t try to change my ways. One thing I will never do is look down on someone for their “city ways,” as my dad would put it, and in return I ask that people not try to strip the country out of me.