Growing Up in the Country: A Re-introduction to A Pioneer Daughter


Tina & Sheila

Senior picture with my mare Sheila

I am reintroducing my blog because I have been awful about actually blogging lately and want to get back into the swing of things, thus a reboot of sorts!  I love rural places, farm communities and the hardworking farmers and ranchers who are the backbone of our country.   I am the product of those amazing people and couldn’t be prouder of my agricultural heritage.  From my parents to my grandparents, great grandparents and beyond, the land is in our blood, it’s who and what we are.  What I didn’t say was I am an unintentional city girl, stuck in suburbia and frantically trying to get back to the country.  Don’t get me wrong, I am an extremely lucky woman who has a great life, a great husband and a great family but I long for clean country air, the smell of rain on sagebrush, fresh cut alfalfa, the whinny of a horse or bellow of a cow, the immense beauty of a mountain sunset or sunrise and so many other small moments or experiences that you just can’t get in a city.

I was born and raised in a very rural town in Southern Idaho.  I pretty much went all the way from kindergarten through twelfth grade with the same core group of kids.  When I was in high school there were about 150 kids in the entire school.  That was ninth through twelfth grade!  Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of privacy because everybody knew everybody else’s business!

Job opportunities in my small community included moving sprinkler pipes, driving tractors and hay swathers, bucking hay bales, working cattle and anything else agriculture related.  Oh sure, there were the odd jobs out, such as working in the schools, the electric co-op, the feed-lot or the truck stop but even those tended to revolve in one way or another around agriculture.

As a child, there is no better way to grow up than out in the country.  In fact, I often got asked by my city friends what in the world do you do for fun out in the middle of nowhere.  I always responded with two things:  what didn’t we do and what could you possibly do for fun in town?  Growing up I had a plethora of things to do and there usually wasn’t enough time in the day to do them all!

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up being a ‘town’ girl.  I mean, I was that girl who was a tom-boy growing up.  I hated girly things.  I hated dresses, baking, cooking, cleaning or anything that resembled being a girl. THE four letter word for me, which was always uttered by my grandma was ‘lady’, in the form of the question, don’t you want to be a lady?  NO!!!  I wanted to be riding my horse, working cows, playing in the dirt, climbing trees, chasing cats, I could go on and on.  When I went to my cousins house, who lived in a city, I was bored out of my head.  There was nothing to do!  Now, eventually I grew out of some my hatred of girly things, I even have photographic proof of me in a dress (which I still pretty much despise)!!  What does all of this matter or mean?  I am the last person I thought would end up living in the city!

My plan when I went off to college was to get a teaching degree, move back to my small town and become the speech and drama teacher there and live the life I had always known.  Plans though tend to change, evolve, take twists and turns and before you know it, you are somewhere that you didn’t plan.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing and I think has added depth, knowledge and given me a broader view point but that still doesn’t calm the longing, quiet the voice or crush the urge to get back to my roots.  My goal eventually is to move out of town, find my own little piece of country heaven and get back to my true self.  In the meantime, this stranded suburbanite is going to share her experiences, her stories, the stories of the pioneers who came before her and she hopes you enjoy the ‘reflections of a girl who grew up country.’




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