I was telling a buddy of mine yesterday that I was lucky in life because I had grown up in two totally different worlds. As a kid and a little into the teen years… I pretty much had a city life and an escape to the farm anytime I wanted to jump out and get into something else. My parents are from farm country in Indiana. My mom was Miss 4-H and Miss Warren County… a gorgeous tomboy fire baton twirling homecoming queen of a small perfect town. One stop light, groceries from the IGA and neighbors that were your family and family were your neighbors. My dad was one town over yet still in the same school system. A hard hard worker, never slept in a day in his life because you had to work to live back then. An only child just doing what he could to make everyone proud. Working his summers away… and helping his father on the farm where they raised cattle. Student body president and as blue collar under a white collar that you could get. Both my parents were the first of both sides of the family to go to college… and move away from those small little towns in Indiana… that now have a couple more stop lights… a dairy queen, a gas station and a Wal-Mart.
My brothers and I would live in Atlanta thru the school year and spend summers on the farm. We would get up and help grandpa with the chores. They had all kinds of farm animals, a full on vegetable garden and crops that you could see for days. We rode horses and four wheelers, waded in the crick and jumped hay bales for fun. There was a TV but no one ever used it… we learned to drive on huge old tractors and old Chevy trucks. You never used the phone unless it was an emergency… if you wanted to talk to a neighbor (who was your aunt and uncle living next door on the other side of the farm or crops… you would ride the tractor, horse or jump in the truck. There was a tire swing in the yard, folding chairs in the yard and the days seemed to last forever!! You snapped peas in the rocking chair, fed all the leftovers to the pigs and played flashlight tag all night because it never truly got dark because the stars shined sooo bright.
We were in Atlanta the rest of the time. Suburbia’s finest, a great house… the “best” school system and the biggest yard in the neighborhood with a pool, basketball goal and the a green lot out front that you swore was put there for kickball and the greatest games or SPUD kids could get into. I had my very own car when I turned 16, the mall 5 mins away from my house and movie theaters, six flags, 18 and older dance clubs to list just a couple weeknight and weekend activities. Gourmet food on every corner, a mom who was over the top active with the PTA on top of having one of the most impressive jobs I will ever know anyone to have in this lifetime. It involves the medical world and computers. You have to be a computer geek, have crazy experience in medicine and just be over the top brilliant to jump on board with my mom and her crew. My dad wore suits all the time that I can remember while growing up coming and going from work. He traveled somewhere just about every week but never failed to be home with us on weekends for the two days solid no matter what. A man that has made his success story in sales and has amazed people with his honest and you get what you see “nonsales” approach. My parents built their dream home almost two years ago… and are exactly where they want to be when it comes to personal goals and growth. You would never know… ever they spent the first half of their lives doing the exact opposite of what they are doing now.
We really did have the best of both worlds and are lucky enough to continue with it. I don’t get to Indiana nearly as much as I should but when I do get there… I appreciate it that much more. I will forever be a city girl… I love traffic and interstates, I love tall buildings and parks surrounded by a bustling city. I love the opportunity here to be whatever you want and have anything and every recourse at your fingertips… but I still crave sitting around… snapping green beans, shucking corn and having 24 hours in a day feel like forever.
I find it hard to believe people don’t feel the love I do and don’t get to love the way I do on a regular basis day in and out. I have no idea what I did to deserve the constant variables in my life… but thank god I did it… because I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without my daily dose of my best friends. I have a handful of them …and they are amazing.
These friends are the ones that fix it when I’m sad, jump in when I’m happy and want to rescue me and push me in the right direction when I need guidance. They have allowed me to share the biggest moments in their lives and will with no question be there with me until the end. They are the most amazing, unique, intelligent, beautiful, creative, inspiring people in the world… and they are mine.
If that doesn’t make you want to go out and be the best person you can for no better reason then to give back at least a tiny bit of what you get … then I don’t know what could.