I apologize for being late with the blog. It wasn’t intentional. For now, we’ll blame it on the early morning dental appointment. Okay?
I don’t write a lot of cowboys. I write some. But not a lot. I’ve never written a 100% cowboy book. But, one thing I do know, is the country. Even if it is the countryside of Florida… And yes, there is one. A backwoods, redneck, hillbilly country side of Florida. I know. I spent years in it.
I grew up though for the most part in towns or at the beach. My paternal grandparents who I didn’t know beyond the age of 8 or so, lived in the deep country. Pick-up trucks, hunting, barefoot in the dirt, kids stripped down to diapers or underwear and maybe a t-shirt, Redman chew, and beer. Always beer. Never wine or mixed drinks. Always beer. And lard in a jar on the counter for deep frying everything known to man and some things you really didn’t want to know.
Old country music or Elvis.
I know winding roads and Jiffy stores on two lane highways no one has ever heard of or knew existed except for those who lived there or happened upon them by accident. I know 8oz glass bottles of Coke and salted peanuts being dropped in it. People now make fun of me or that snack, but I still love it.
And I know floating down the river in inner tubes. Natural spring fed rivers, ice cold, cut-off jeans and bikini tops.
Boiled peanuts on the side of the road. Pickin’ wild blackberries with a bucket from ditches and dirt roads and fields.
Trucks with the Confederate flag on the back window.
I see parts of who I grew up now, even in cities. And a lot of that simplicity is coming back and more people are keeping chickens and growing their own food now. It’s good for us, but it’s also hip when it used to be a way of life.
I was talking to a friend recently about this. We’d both tried to forget where we came from, the Florida we grew up in, knew existed outside the perceived notions of vacations and sunny beaches and amusement parks. But it’s in our roots sometimes that we find ourselves, not in who we’re trying to become or who we think we have to be to fit in, or escape. There are things about me that are redneck, some things that are hillbilly, some things that are country born and bred. And there are parts of me that are urban and city and concrete structures and suburbia and hair band music.
But I’ve found the more I try to be something I’m not, the more I yearn for what I know deep down inside.
What about you? Were you born in the country or in the city? Which do you identify with most?
It’s the 4th of July weekend here in the States. I hope y’all have a great and safe holiday if you’re here. If not, I just hope you have a fabulous weekend wherever you are.