Before I write any more, I should say that this farmgirl returned to the city only temporarily.
I used to work for America’s farmers and ranchers from an office in our nation’s capital. As you can imagine, you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of her soul. I came home and bought a farm.
This week I attended a conference in New York City, a place I had never been before, and I traveled solo. Key questions included 1) what should I wear, 2) what’s the best transportation option from the airport and 3) who will I meet? Those questions probably should have been mentally reversed but I didn’t want to stand out like I don’t belong. Even though I don’t belong. Not by a long shot.
Where I found some mental clarity, by design I’m sure, was at the 9/11 Museum and Memorial. This was the final place I needed to visit where the planes had crashed on September 11, 2001. Underground, people rushed to work using the train systems. Above ground, trees have been planted around huge voids in the footprints of two World Trade Center towers. The difference in the two settings, within mere feet of the other, was stunning.
We, in rural America, can often feel disconnected from what happens in cities. 9/11 was something that united all of us. That’s all I have to say about that.
What’s nice about visiting the city is that I always have several friendly faces to greet me when I return to the farm.
I sat watching, stunned, last night at the clear voice of middle, rural America. The map said it all – our cities differ in countless ways from what you find in rural America.
My polling office was the busiest I’ve seen my whole life. Personally, I was glad more than two names appeared on the presidential candidate ballot. And personally, there were other races and proposals I was interested in that have more direct impact in our tiny town.
I was sad to watch two things happening on media coverage:
Anchors fumbled for explanations for why their polls led the country to believe one candidate was a shoe-in to the White House. My take: with the exception of primary elections, one poll matters and it takes place the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Focus groups, surveys and online trends do not get counted.
Anchors admitted they underestimated rural America…and often referenced “uneducated” rural America. WHAT?! Last I checked, my family, friends and neighbors are some of the most knowledgable, resourceful people I’ve met. It’s one reason I moved back here post-college and post-DC living. Farmers alone are remarkably innovative and hey, a lot of them have college degrees.
Despite the differences in our communities, we are one nation. We have so many things to celebrate as free people. I’m especially thankful that we live in rural America, where we continue to tie our boots each morning and go to work doing what we love.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. -William James