Rural America: Old Fashioned? Maybe.

  As I look around the great metropolis that is Martinsville and Henry County, I realize that there's a stark fact that binds us with much of the rest of these United States. We're pretty old fashioned! 

     Now to some that may seem derogatory. But on the contrary, I like the way things have been in the past. Years past have an allure, nostalgia we often call it, we remember when life seemed to be less complicated.

     Simplicity is elusive these days for many people. Between the two working parents and the three kids in four sports, the speed at which life is lived can be overwhelming. But, as we venture further into the countryside, beyond subdivisions and strip malls, time slows down. We see things as they have been: old farmhouses, barns, country stores. It appears they have always been there and always will be there.

      We have a tradition of going to the Ayers-Kreh Christmas tree farm in Patrick County each year and cutting our own tree. To prove my point, time stands still at the Cristmas tree farm. I've been going there for 30 or so years. I can stand on the hill, facing west, with the cold breeze stinging my face, and remember being 13 years old in the same place. I'm sure the personnel and the equipment have changed, but I don't see it. I'm just a kid looking for the perfect tree, 30 + years later.

     I happen to live on Highway 58 and often see the vehicles passing by with their perfect tree strapped to the roof or hanging out of the bed of the truck. Maybe they are living out the same tradition that I am with my family. Maybe they are starting a new tradition. Now many of our more urban friends and family may find the idea of hunting and killing your own tree preposterous.

     Drinking hot chocolate on a cold December Saturday, they say? At a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, they quip? That just sounds old-fashioned. Well, maybe it is. But, don't knock it til you've tried it. You may discover that you've got a little nostalgia in you, too!

Zachary BradyComment