I always hated the way city people indirectly referred to the country as “uncivilized.” You know, you hear someone passing through a small town saying, “I can’t wait to get back to civilization.” I can’t help but laugh at that, … Continue reading
I’ve wrestled with this question a lot lately. Agriculture is one of my passions, so much that I chose to make it my career. I love agriculture, and I love advocating on behalf of agriculture. But, my blog content patterns … Continue reading
My very dear friend, Jodi, is a fantastic person. She has so much to teach the world about kindness, fearlessness, and overcoming adversity. When I think “good person,” Jodi is what pops into my mind. One of Jodi’s downfalls, though, … Continue reading
In college, my city-raised friends were all shocked to find out that their token redneck friend neither owned a horse or had ever ridden one outside of festival pony rides and sitting on them for pictures at the fair. Here’s … Continue reading
As I prepare for my 4th week in my full-time big kid job, and start my 4th week here in Kansas City, I realize I’m behind on chronicling this massive adventure. Two years ago, I never would have believed that … Continue reading
I’ve been a little swamped lately prepping for my big move to Kansas City, which happens THIS FRIDAY. (If you’re confused about the dates, I was supposed to start at my job on June 25th, but we bumped it back to July 9th because my apartment would not be available until the 7th.) I’ve been packing, taking inventory, and tying up loose ends here.
I have a million and one thoughts I’d love to blog about regarding the move, work, agriculture, and a slew of other things, but instead, I’ll take a few moments to address tomorrow, the 4th of July. Continue reading
Earlier in the spring, I did my last Relay for Life event as a North Central College student. The Relay for Life is an event that groups can host to raise money for the American Cancer Society. I have seen more loss and heartache because of cancer than I like to admit, and following my own cancer scare I dove into awareness with a new fervor. At my fourth and final Relay for Life event at NCC, I raised over $1,200 for the American Cancer Society.
When one of my best friends, Joe, asked if I’d be interested in volunteering for another Relay for Life event this year, I agreed. Rather than raise money, though, we were donating our time and professional services as DJ’s through his blossoming company Rack Off and Rage. Continue reading
I like to think I’m a nice person.
Maybe that’s a loaded statement. I’m sure there are folks out there who disagree with me. If I’m full of it, please, call me out. This matters enough to me that I want to be told if I’m mistaken about my own niceness. I try to be nice, and over the past few years I feel I’ve grown as a person, especially in the area of niceness. And I’ve realized that niceness is an aspect of life that is sorely under-appreciated from the giving end and often incredibly deficit on the receiving end. Continue reading
My city slicker friends won’t get this, especially not the ones who are born-and-bred suburbanites or urbanites. And that’s okay; different strokes for different folks. As I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my life, a chapter wrapped in urban life, a one-bedroom apartment downtown, I’m more sentimental than ever about rural life. I’m thrilled for the next step, but I also know that the fond memories I have now of these wide open spaces and familiar places will have to last me a little longer.
I’ve been listening to one song on repeat a lot lately. Usually, I’m in the car with the windows down, the wind whipping my hair, sunglasses on and my left arm (which is now a darker shade of “pale” than my right arm) resting on the edge of the driver side window. And, I’m usually on a wide open road, tar-and-chip or gravel or dirt.
Foreword: this post is half-rant and may have some inaccuracies. Please let me know of any and I will do my best to research and correct the information.
I’m on my spring break right now. I’m sitting in Kansas City, enjoying the sights and sounds of a fairly large city. The town I grew up in is nothing like Kansas City, though. The town I grew up in, Momence, Illinois, has a population somewhere between three and four thousand. The high school graduating classes are right around 100, and that’s including kids that are bused in from outlying neighborhoods and villages. In warm spring and summer, the town is framed by a lush carpet of pastures, and fields. Corn, soybeans, wheat. On a warm summer day, when the wind blows just right, you can smell the herb fields west of town where basil and oregano help stimulate the local economy. The Kankakee River, which runs right through historic downtown Momence, has a great reputation for big pike and large populations of bluegill.
We all know each other. We all take care of each other. It’s a pretty magical place to have grown up. While my mailing address is no longer in Momence, it’s still in a way home. The memories, the people, the places…they’re all near and dear to my heart. Nowadays, though, the State of Illinois isn’t helping rural community. Continue reading