How GRIT Magazine transformed into a rural lifestyle magazine.
We all have different definitions of the good life. Mine involves living someplace where I can lift the telephone directory with one hand and my dog doesn’t have to be on the leash every time he steps outside.
If you’re reading this, most likely your definition also includes some of the qualities we associate with country living — peace and quiet, open spaces, self-sufficiency and a sense of belonging on a familiar, homey piece of land. You might love, as I do, living where the grocery clerks know your name, the service station actually provides service, and taking a deep breath draws in air instead of fumes. You might also love, as I do, eating flavorful, healthy food that came from a garden nearby; knowing that those eggs in the fridge came from the five pretty hens in your backyard; and that the goat cheese you’re savoring came from the neighbors’ Nanette, not an anonymous creature thousands of miles away.
We realize that GRIT Magazine has an old-fashioned sound to it. It means having character, moral fiber and what my dad used to call “sticktuitiveness” — a determination to stick with an endeavor for better or worse once you’ve committed to it. We think these qualities are as valuable today as they were 124 years ago, when the publication named GRIT found its first readers. Over the years, GRIT has celebrated and reported on life in and around the small towns and rural communities of this nation, telling the stories of the people who gave it its backbone.
This issue of Grit inaugurates a new direction for our venerable publication. Redesigning as a magazine instead of a newspaper is a departure from GRIT’s history (which you can read about at www.grit.com/grit-history.aspx), and we hope it will enable us to reach an even wider audience than before. Reversing a trend of the last several decades, Americans are starting to move back to the country. Our intention is to accompany them — and you, we hope — on the journey, and provide plenty of expert advice, useful information, good humor and reflection along the way.
We also are aware that our large community of GRIT readers includes thousands of individuals who have enormous experience in the skills and behaviors that make life work in the country and in rural communities. We’ll be asking for ideas and stories from our older readers, sharing their wisdom and experience with a whole new crop of country people. See “Looking Back” (www.grit.com/History/Threshing-Required-the-Whole-Community) and “Voice of Experience” for some of these stories.
We hope to hear from you, either by email to Letters @ Grit.com, or to me here at our office in Topeka, KS. Let us know what you like, what you don’t like and what you’d like to see more of. If you aren’t already a subscriber, sign up and get to know us. We have a great history to build on and a fascinating future ahead.