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It had been almost 2 years since I’d seen my daughter Amy. A Kansas girl born and bred, she’d been living in the nation’s capital working in PR for the past several years. Used to the hubbub of big city living full of PR events and happy hours and a never-ending choice of things to do and see, I wondered if a 5 day visit back to the small town country where I live in Southern Illinois would bore her to tears after a day or so.
I found out something… you can take the girl out of the country but you CAN’T take the country out of the girl!


We drove through the countryside that first night, windows in the truck down and our hair blowing everywhere when she took a deep breath and said “Just smell that corn!” Her comment made me stop and think…it’s a smell I’m so used to experiencing everyday that I often don’t notice it any more. But in her world of concrete and glass and hubbub, it was noticeably different…somehow relaxing…I knew then that the country part of her had never left.
So much so that she made a stop on the way back to the campground one night to romp through a neighboring cornfield with her camera…despite the fact that we both knew it had been sprayed with liquid manure early in the morning.

We had a glorious 4 and a half days together. She sacrificed the relative luxury of a small town motel to stay in the camper with me, with a bathroom you can’t turn around in and whatever you need in easy reach of wherever you’re sitting.

Blissful “girl time”!

We sat outside doing nothing with our feet up…we hiked trails…we played gin late at night…we went to the post office…we ate lunch at smalltown diners…we drove in the evenings looking for deer…we cooked supper together and shared a beer as we ate outside in the evening breeze…we took a kazillion pictures as she taught me what she knew about photography (my latest passion) and helped me edit photos…we talked about everything and then some and laughed…we watched “girl shows” on television…we consumed what would appear to be a gallon of “stinky dip” for old times sake…and we loved!

I’ve always loved my daughter more than anything in the world but I fell more deeply in love with her and the woman she has become and continues to become. She is one of the strongest and most courageous young women I know. Walking away from the corporate PR world, she’s started her own PR firm and is succeeding beyond her wildest dreams. She’s taking the plunge before she’s “too old” (if you can actually be too old at the age of 28) to audition for American Idol in a few days, gaining a coveted golden ticket for the auditions. She and DK are heading for Costa Rica in a few weeks to see parts of the world they’ve never seen before.

I’ve always wanted her to experience things that I never will in my lifetime and succeed beyond her wildest dreams…she’s doing just that!

Through it all there remains the beautiful soul that has “country blood” running through her veins…the blood, that with a deep breath, can slow the world down…make you smile… put things back into perspective… bring peace.

I love you my little country girl!