Fresh Air’s list of 50 tips provides simple, delightful ways to capture a slice of country or rural life wherever you may live. We close our eyes and imagine fresh air, long walks down an abandoned country road, and expansive vistas. No worries, no packing, no uprooting needed. Just read this “how to” book to discover ways to live the best parts of the rural life minus the flies and manure. You can even stick to the romanticizing! It doesn’t matter where you live! If you apply just a few of the 50 tips, the “ways of the country” become refreshing and educational for you and your children and you’ll feel a part of America’s rural heritage. Why not apply splashes of country to your day to day to get the best from an idyllic, yet rarified existence but still have easy access to the conveniences of modern-day life in the city and suburbs.
How do I know these tips work? I grew up on a cotton farm in southern Arizona near a small (but growing) town called Maricopa and presently live in the Phoenix suburbs. Every one of my fondest childhood memories sends me back down the dirt road that led to that comforting home nestled between cotton and alfalfa fields. When I want to walk down memory lane or resurrect some part of my special growing-up years I simply play country music, work in my back yard or watch an old western on television. So, it’s true in my case that you can take the girl out of the country, but with a little creativity you can keep the country in the girl.
Friends and family have always been intensely curious about farm and rural life. And even as fewer of us farm for a living, Future Farmers of America (now the National FFA Organization) membership has reached new highs. Farmers’ markets across the country continue to gain popularity and more families plan vacations away from the big city. The more urban and suburban we become, the more farm life seems to fascinate us.
Part of the allure is rural America’s onlys. Only in the country will you hear the rhythmic croaking of frogs at night. Only in the country, separated from city lights, will you feel so close to the stars in the night sky that you reach out to pluck them one by one and attempt to stuff them in your Levi pocket. Only in the country do you lie out under the same night sky and draw in the sweet smell of fresh cut alfalfa. Only in the country do you get dirty from head to foot after plowing a field all day or digging ditches yet you still feel clean (though bone tired). We draw upon rural America’s limitless storehouse of beauty, lore, and infinite truths.