Growing Up Country


Life and Adventures at Diamond W RanchGrowing up country means to experience mud between your toes even while learning to walk. It means learning the hard way about thistles and poison ivy and roosters. Growing up country means finding ways to entertain yourself that don’t involve video games, shopping malls, television, or smartphones. It means learning to ride a horse so that you can go to your friends’ houses – five miles away.


Kate and her friend, Kendra lead Choctaw together.

Growing up country means having a family garden. It is the smell of fresh, vine ripened tomatoes when they are picked, the prickly, sticky feel of okra, the jerk of surprise when a tomato hornworm tries to stab you, and the little cuts on your hands from pulling weeds. It is the satisfaction of surveying a disastrously messy kitchen after canning 40 pints of green beans, 20 jars of salsa, and 30 jars of tomato juice … and counting. It's the sweet taste of wild strawberries. 

Yum! Wild Strawberries! 

Growing up country means being kissed by animals more than people. It means riding a horse before you can walk. It means watching birth and death, sometimes all at the same time, and learning to feel the sadness as well as the wonder of the miracle of life. Growing up country means collecting eggs, mushrooms, vegetables, and mosquito bites. It means milking a cow and experiencing what real, fresh, warm milk tastes like. It means learning how to work hard to raise your own food and realizing what real hard work feels like. It means county fairs and blue ribbons. 

Thumbs up to winning a blue ribbon! 

8/1/2015 7:11:33 AM

Two thumbs up!! Thanks for a great article.

3/22/2014 9:50:07 PM

Jacqueline, wow, you really nailed it. I can remember all those things from my experiences with growing up in the country. When Dad moved to the city when I was 9 my country experiences continued through the summers at my uncle's farm. It was indeed a great way to come into adult life with all the learned life experiences. Adult life can be messy at time and I know of no better way to prepare for it then growing up in the country. Appreciation of the simple things in life and not the flashy trendy things are one of the most important lessons a child can learn. You kids are truly fortunate to have that opportunity. ***** Have a great growing up country day.

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