Small Town America

I love being from a small town and community.  There is no place like home, but I love the commonality that spreads across each small town I have traveled through over the years. Ovando, Montana is the epitome of this.  I love that there are still places like this to share with my children; the hometown feel you get when you walk through the doors of a small café or general store.  I love that there is a “howdy” and a friendly smile from a stranger that make you instantly feel welcome.  These are the roots of America, and I am proud to be part of that.  So that is the story behind this story…

Small Town America

Somewhere across small town America, there are families still gathered on a Sunday morning in a church pew, thanking the Man upstairs for all the good in their lives.  There are old men, farmers & cowboys, coaches and dads, preachers and sinners, husbands and brothers gathered in a small coffee shop swapping stories about the latest basketball game played, about kids these days, days gone by, the crops in the ground, calving season, politics, and the weather.

Somewhere across small town America, there are groups gathering for the greater good of human kind, striving to be both.  They still work together to preserve and protect what is important, raise money for those in need, meant for a hand up, not a hand out.  There are not agendas or ulterior motives, but simply effort made for the greater good.

Somewhere across small town America, there are still grandmothers sharing recipes, baking cookies, delivering hugs, and praying for family.  They still grow gardens with fresh vegetables, pluck warm eggs from the hen house, and prepare Sunday supper from scratch.

Somewhere across small town America, there are handshakes still exchanged, a friendly wave from behind the wheel of a truck or tractor. Respect and morals still have value; where you honor your word given.  There are still people willing to work hard every day, getting dirt on their hands and under their nails, and willing to give their neighbor the shirt off their backs.

Somewhere across small town America, man is still a little more connected with their fellow man.  The cell phone service is sketchy at best, and nobody owns a dumb smart phone.  They still put a stamp on a handwritten letter to mail to a friend across the miles. The TV is turned off and families are tuned in around a dinner table at night, talking about their day.

Somewhere across small town America, the roots of good work ethic and honesty run deep.  Men are still men, and women are honored for more than the value of their looks.  A place where you are judged on your honesty and word, not your religion, your skin color, gender, or last name.

Somewhere across small town America, soldiers and veterans are honored for serving their country and the sacrifices they make.  Teachers teach American history and honor the Pledge of Allegiance and salute the flag.

Thank God for small town America.  It is our job to uphold her, teach other generations the value of hard work, time unplugged from technology, spend more time outdoors exploring, instill a little less sensitivity and political correctness and a better sense of humor, and show appreciation for the freedom that rings.  Look around your small town, and honor the foundation of it, those that had grit to establish it, and remember the blood, sweat and tears it took to build it.

God Bless small town America.

Wake Up

Wake up. Your soul, the girl you used to be, the one you always wanted to be…she is talking to you.  She has asked quietly, politely knocked, sought you out, but she’s screaming at you now.  She’s tired of being confined, restricted, and subtly restrained.  She’s there raw and naked staring back at you in the mirror. She’s asking “why”? Why have you ignored her? Why have you worked so hard to keep her in a tight lid box? Why have you put her on the back burner, ignored her uniqueness?  She’s here now… So listen.

She wants to write words that are worth reading and listening to, insightful and helpful.

She’s the one that wants to pass her days surrounded by those she loves deeply. She’d rather spend her time in the company of her horse, her dog, her family, and towering mountain peaks.

She wants to stare at full moons and starlit skies.

She climbs mountains the hard way, her way, to see the tops of peaks, to breathe air deeply until it fills her lungs with more than life.

She would rather be dead broke than live in a 9-5 that leaves her empty, and married to a mortgage payment.  Her bank account has nothing to do with how rich she feels.

She doesn’t want to work and slave just to live when her body is too old and tired to reap the benefits.

She’s the one that likes good whiskey; the kind that too much is never enough of. She craves the smell of campfire nights and children’s smiles and small houses full of life.

She craves silence and solitude, but company worth keeping.

She’s music all the way down to her toes. She moves with it, lives in it, feels every word of it.

She’s the one that knew she didn’t need a fancy degree to prove her importance, desirability and intelligence to the world.

She knows deep down that her worth isn’t wrapped up in being society’s perfect picture. 

She accepts herself as is, fully flawed stitched together with good intentions.

She’s a woman of her word; not judgmental or angry.  She lets go of all the ‘right’ reasons, and with it goes the indecision within her.

She doesn’t plan everything; she goes with the flow. She just simply lets go. She goes with her gut.

She trusts, she loves, she believes in miracles and dreams that come true.

She just is…

So, listen to her…she’s all you are and all you have the potential to be.

~Happy Trails