|One of my apple pies ready to go into the oven. (usually I use green apples)|
1. I make homemade pies from scratch.
I have always made pies from scratch and was taught how to at a young age in a very specific way. You know, because my Great Grandma said there was only one way to make a pie and this is the way you do it. (My Mom taught me her techniques and her pie crust recipe.) So I have grown up thinking this is the way pie is always to be made. Well a few weeks ago I made an apple pie and my housemates/friends said "Why didn't you go out and buy some pie crust from the store?" The thought had honestly never occurred to me. Why would I do that??! And then they tasted the pie crust and understood why.
|My Senior HS pictures.. Also very country.|
2. I have a cedar hope chest. I had no idea that this is another 'country idea.' Originally hope chests were supposed to be filled with things for a young women for her future home (things like fancy linens and clothing etc). My hope chest is not filled with things necessarily for the future, but rather things from my past. For example, the baby clothes I wore, my baby blankets, my brownie girl scout uniform, my old gymnastics leotards, I even think my baptism candle is in there. For me its more of a box of memories, but apparently still makes "so country."
3. The way I use language. It's not that I have a certain accent or dialect (have you ever heard of northwestern pacific coast accent?... I don't think so). Ok I just googled it and I guess I'm mistaken wikipedia says there is such a thing: click on it here to see. (OMG I do the elk.. ilk thing, well this is news to me.) Anyway, this is probably more of a regional thing than a "country" thing. But in the Midwest they were ALWAYS correcting my language since I do not use "formal" English and "sounds" well. I think my use of language seriously frustrated some of them. Finally I told them I use language and speak like my people and my people speak and use language like me.
4. I drive stick shift. This impresses people all the time and I'm quite proud of it. My Grandpa used to tell me that this was really important to know. Not that only country people drive stick shift I know this is not true, but it's more of an expectation in the country to know this. I also know how to check my oil and refill it if the car leaks oil... this is something I had to teach Lauren this year. AND.. I have also replaced a water pump in an old ford pick-up with my Dad when I was probably 12 years old. Fun stuff.
|Hamburgers ready for the Grill.|
|Irrigation System in the Rural Eastern Washington Desert.|
7. I know the dynamics of a farm second-hand. I have never worked on a farm, but my brothers have and I grew up surrounded by farms. It means working 12+ hours a day in the summer, driving a tractor (maybe with air conditioning if you are lucky), troubleshooting on the fly, gambling with weather, and waking up before sunrise to name a few. It also means when the neighbors pigs get out (again) you get a phone call to help round them up. My ignorant self was surprised in college when I met people who had never been on a tractor ride before. Perhaps what I find more amusing is that there are times when I say to my housemates, I can tell you did not grow up around farms. Then they look at me confused and its hard for me to explain. The work ethic is completely different on a farm than it is other places. Some things are more 'intuitive' to me than them, like how to stack and move boxes of food efficiently.
In the end I don't really consider myself a country girl, even though I know all the words to every country song (new and old). But its interesting how some of those rural tendencies sneak out in normal day life. I also find it interesting how well I seem to travel between the different worlds I live in and how people perceive that. It reminds me of a beautiful essay I read in feminist epistemology written by Maria Lugones called Playfulness, "World"-Traveling, and Loving Perception. Like Lugones, I find myself much more playful in some "worlds" than others and for some reason my rural home has always been a place of much less playfulness.
|View of the sunset from my childhood home.|