Giving Thanks

In this season of thanks there are many things I am thankful for. The list is a long one but there is one thing that may be hard for some people to understand. Those people mostly live in urban areas. Recently someone again questioned why anyone would want to live in rural America. While I have lived most of my life in rural America, I have also spent a few years in an urban area. Both have pluses and minuses and I can make a case for both. Urban areas can offer more restaurants and shopping opportunities plus in many cases more available health care just to name a few. However I wouldn’t trade my time in rural America for any of them. I grew up in a town of about 200 people. I’ve often said it was like living in Mayberry. The whole town was your playground and everyone watched out for you. I’ve never felt I missed out on anything I really needed. I’ve now lived the majority of my life in a slightly larger town but still a rural, farming community. I’ve been blessed to meet and make friends with people in rural communities around the country. I’ve witnessed and even received the support of friends and strangers in times of need. I’ve seen neighbors leave their own fields at harvest time to help someone else going through a tough time. I enjoy seeing familiar faces at church, ballgames, restaurants and stores. I’m thankful my grandchildren are attending a small country church like I did at their age. Rural America isn’t immune to the challenges of today’s society. However it offers a support group to help you deal with those challenges that few other places can match. It really comes down to where you feel most comfortable and what you value most. I can understand why some people prefer urban living. Just don’t try to tell me that those of us who prefer rural areas are wrong in our feelings. I’m just thankful I live in a country where I can choose where I live.