Growing up in Southwest Ohio, on the edge of rural small town America, I knew nothing different. I thought living on a one lane road, surrounded by trees, pasture and livestock everyday was the way, it was the only way I knew. Traveling to Chicago, Illinois to celebrate my 26th birthday city style opened by eyes to a new way. Lights, trains, ferris wheel, shopping, a Starbucks on every corner and endless sea of faces entered this farm girl into another world. I realized I was not born a farmer on accident and have a story to tell. Jason Aldean says how I felt best in his song The Only Way I Know,
“Well, I grew up in one of them old farm towns
Where they hit it hard ’til the sun goes down
Nobody really seemed to care
That we were living in the middle of nowhere
We just figured that’s how it was
And everybody else was just like us
Soaking in the rain baking in the sun
Don’t quit ’til the job gets done”
Once I entered the city, I felt like I was entering the unknown. I am sure people from the city feel the same way when they drive outside the city limits into rural america. Vast farmland can feel endless, but for an Ohio farm girl, the city is infinity and beyond. There are at least 45 neighborhoods just surrounding downtown Chicago. House after house, business after business. There is diversity and everything at your finger tips, except a parking space! Talking, honking and sirens drown the sound of crickets chirping you could hear on a quite country night. Lights illuminate the streets unlike the deep darkness on a back country road.
From the John Hancock view of the city, high end shopping on Michigan Ave., Millenium Park, extravagant eating, illunimus ferris wheel at Navy Peir and the wonder of Oz Park, I felt ready to take on the world. Besides these famous attractions the best moments were spent telling new Chicago friends about my farm life. I told tales of the hundreds of mothers pigs and piglets I care for each day in warm barns. I told the hi-tech way of baby making or should I say bacon makin we use with artificial insemination and my year reigning as the Queen of Pork.
I attended a church with thousands of people gathering to worship The Lord and it was then I realized it didn’t matter. Small farm to big city, God created us all in His image and placed us on this Earth in a certain time and location for a reason. Though we live different lives and look different, we are all the same to Him. We are loved and He will provide us with the food to nourish our bodies, the clothes and shelter to protect us and His Word to guide each other to Him.
Oh Chicago, what a grand place to celebrate the beginning of my 26th year of life. Oh sweet farm, how you welcome me home with open arms and oinks of love ❤