It’s not just the former Presidential candidate. I’m paraphrasing here, but a lot of urban people think rural people just don’t get it. I wonder if they have any sense of history, or reality. First of all, it’s the people “out in the country” who put the food on the table. Two percent of the nation’s citizens are feeding the rest of us. And it’s actually NOT easy to do.
Every farm is a business. A farmer can’t leave the animals without care, so spontaneous weekend trips or crashing at a friend’s house in town are not good options. Careful planning, constant budgeting, livestock and food crop health management, and securing markets for supplies is a daily concern.
Not to mention variables no one can prepare for—weather, blight or livestock disease, and unusual seasonal developments are a just a few. Drought or its opposite—too much rain—or just one hailstorm, can spoil a whole year’s crop, no matter how much work the farmer put into it.
Depending on the land, any given farmer must be part animal midwife, veterinarian, animal dietitian, marketer, plant scientist, chemist, mechanic, accountant, plumber, machinery operator, truck driver, electrician, and safety coordinator—on call 24/7.
If all those farmers moved to the “normal” cities, where would city dwellers get their quinoa and hydroponic lettuce? Or hamburgers?!
There is no Uber from here to the south 40. There are no safe spaces in a blizzard. Honking at a tractor going to market will not make it go faster. You also don’t need that expensive gym membership out here.
In that same vein, why do science and agriculture students have to take art history, but art students aren’t required to take Animal Science 101? Art is wonderful, but “starving artist” is supposed to be a lifestyle, not a literal fact. If we stop educating people on life and sustainment skills, we can’t eat sculpture. I’m not ragging on artists, just saying the conversation needs to be broader.
In any case, I know where I want to be, and whom I want to be with when the zombie apocalypse com’a’knockin. I already have a plan to get to my father-in-law’s farm before I have to stand in a bread line while millions of Russians laugh at me.
Cities are exciting and vibrant, but I also think they create a hive mentality, which is why the electoral college debate comes up so much. Any time you get a lot of people in the same place who all kind of think the same way about the same things, they start to believe that everyone else must think that way too… right… don’t they?
There’s just something about country folks. I had occasion recently to conjure a random memory. Without getting into too much detail, our house had a leaky roof and my dad finally got tired of redoing the plaster in my room, the living room, and the kitchen. He had a heart condition, so when mom heard him up there with a crowbar and a hammer, she naturally freaked and got on the phone. Fortunately, those were the days that the phone was attached to the kitchen wall, so dad couldn’t hear her fussing while she called everyone she could think of.
I can still see Mr. Hollingsworth moseying up the driveway, followed soon by Mr. Dove, then Mr. Theibert (who lost a leg in Vietnam), and Mr. Higham and Captain Devers. I know my dad wasn’t dense enough to think all those men just happened to stop by for a chat, but pretty soon there were four men on the roof, and Mr. Theibert scooping up the stuff that was falling all over the yard. Naturally, our sibling labor force had to spend weeks picking pieces of shingle out of the bushes and grass, but I digress.
If I were in my mom’s shoes in 2020 suburbia, I don’t even know five people in my neighborhood, let alone their phone numbers. And I certainly wouldn’t have the nerve to call them in the middle of the day for some risky manual labor.
My point is this… this nation is so much more than its cities. Sure we all have a postal place that our mail goes to, but most of us live outside of Metropolis. I wonder if the city folks who think we’re all a bunch of simple hillbillies really understand that there IS a sense of community outside of their city blocks and coffee shops.
Perhaps it is because country folks are spread out all over that they feel a kinship to the lands and homes in between, because those are the people who will show up when the power goes out, or the water pump is broken. The reality of us simple folks is that Facebook can’t fix your leaky roof and your Twitter followers don’t care. .
I’ma stay right here in the non-cities of Texas.