Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Missouri Farm Boy in the City

Today we have a bit of a different post.  Meet Colby of My Ag Life.  He is a farm kid living and working in the city.  He writes about his passion for agriculture and what he misses most about the rural life.

You Can Take the Boy Out of the Country: What My 5 Senses Miss Most
It’s often been said, “you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” I am walking, talking, breathing, blogging proof that your roots always stick with you. I was told to go where the wing would blow, but it blows away.

I grew up in the northwest corner of Missouri, near a little town called Helena. The town itself has two hundred or less people. I had nine kids in my elementary school class and lived about two miles down a gravel road from the old school house. That sweet, simple, small town way of life has stuck with me to this day.

I went to college at the University of Missouri, and I thought that was plenty big enough. After graduating I landed a job in Saint Louis, working in agri-advertising for Dekalb, Asgrow, Channel, and other brands. Staying connected to rural folks and that way of life has become more and more difficult, which is why I started MyAgLife blog and reaching out to those who come from backgrounds like mine. I don’t want to be one who carries on about their self, so I am gonna to get to it.

I miss big skies, starry nights, coyotes yipping, frogs croaking and crickets chirping. I miss dropping a line, gravel roads and grain dust. I could go on forever, but I am going to keep this list in relation to the five senses.

Without any ado, here is what I am missing most about home and country living:

-           The smell of Grandma’s fresh vegetables, with the earthy aroma staining my hands. If I close my eyes I can still feel the grittiness of the cucumbers piled in my shirt, used as a basket. The rough, prickly feel of the vines and leaves, and the sun baked garden soil digging into my knees.

-           Mom’s flowerbeds, and the perfume that drifted in through open windows when the wind blew on summer afternoons. Vibrant oranges, purples, reds, pinks yellows and whites decorated the front porch and areas around the house.

-           Silage. For some reason, I love the smell of silage. Being at my dairying families’ houses and smelling the thick, damp, heavy, pungent scent of warm silage. Winter winds would swirl and bite at the fingers, but tarped over silage would steam up and warm the hands.

-           The smell of burning leaves in the fall that would cling to jeans and sweatshirts. A smoky aroma of its own, burning leaves in crisp fall air that nips at the skin and raises hairs when the wind blows.

-           The smell of line-dried laundry. A scent so refreshing that I would actually be excited to go to bed, dive nose first into the pillowcase and press my skin against the cool sheets.

-           The sight of a harvest moon coming up over the east pasture and fields. The only sounds coming from nature, and that bright, rustic orange ball climbing higher into the darkening sky

-           The gilded autumn afternoons during the reaping season. I loved watching grain dust drifting through an ember evening air during harvest.

-           Stars. In town, there are no stars. I miss the nights of gazing deep into clusters of star soaked emptiness, and feeling wonderfully small.

There are limitless things to list that can only be found in pastoral lifestyle. I could have listed the cordial nature and togetherness of close-knit communities, or family, or anything else (of course those are very important), but it is the subtleties and things often overlooked that really make a place unique and even more worthy of homesickness. It feel it is important to remember the details of home and a good way of life.
You can follow Colby on his blog My Ag Life.  And follow him on Facebook!
Tell us about your Ag Life!!! We need your story! E-mail Elizabeth and Jamie at foafeature@gmail.com