Sunday, July 26, 2009

All American Girl: 101

You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl. When I was four I foolishly walked up behind my older brother just as he was preparing to deliver a round-house blow to a baseball on a warm June day in a neighbors yard. Five stitches later, a swollen lip and a doting father passed out on the cold linoleum floor of the doctors office from watching a needle and thread disappear and reappear from behind my lip, you'd think I would have learned. Somewhere shortly within that time span I decided that Evel Knievel had nothing on me when the words "Daddy look!" cheerfully escaped my mouth as I rushed proudly down a steep rock driveway worthy of the Appalachian mountains, my father running behind me shouting fearfully, "Peddle backwards! Peddle backwards!" But it was too late. The big oak tree and I had a date at the bottom of the hill and I wasn't about to stand him up. So second round of a swollen lip and scraps all over my face, my family no doubt feared the rearing years ahead not for the first time in my very short life. I on the other hand, secretly held to the notion that if I could just try again I know I could make it down without a crash. A belief, by the way, I still hold true today. Then there was the time I was about seven and my bother slammed my head (yes my head, not hand) in the door of my dad's old pickup truck. So technically this one is not my fault. Did I mention I have four brothers. One of my favorites was the time at about 10 years of age I flipped my bicycle over and passed out. All I remember was a sing-songy version of the words "Captain Crunch" repeated over and over in my head like a nursery rhyme. There also was the time when another brother and I were riding motorcycles on a dirt bike trail and he hit a bump, I flew off and... ...did I tell you about falling out of the car when I was a toddler? I've almost forgot about that one. It's amazing what 40 plus years can do for your selective memory. From fear of boring you further, let's just leave it at the fact that I was, and in many more ways than I care to admit still am, a tomboy. If my brothers did it I was going to do it better, faster and smarter. I always dreamed big: big ideas, big aspirations and big expectations of myself. "Fates be dammed" was my motto, it has served me well. So, flash forward to today. I may be more polished, have a higher education and dress modern and stylish, but I'm still that little country girl growing up in the rural communities of southern Illinois and once again I find myself not walking but running like Harry Potter through the maze in search of the next new adventure this little girl can sail away on and live to tell about. It is daring, it is bold and yet some will say outright simplistic. I'm going on the adventure of a life time. I'm going to relearn my old country girl ways and with the wind at my back and all synapses firing, it is time to set sail. So the stilettos will go in the closet (for just a little while,) the Italian food at Vivace will have to wait a bit longer for this girl to savor it's gifts, as I take on the homesteading life of an All American Girl. Up first, an attempt to make jelly...

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Oh I'm so happy you checked out my blog. I absolutely love hearing from each and every one of you - it truely makes my day! Jamie