The other day, the kids and I read it for the first time while we were enjoying breakfast together.
This book is officially going onto my list of favorites at our house. It's so simple... yet... so... US!
I love the simple watercolor drawings.
"Take a farmer, another farmer, a boy, a girl."
Ok, so... minus the silos because we don't crop farm, we cattle farm. And... minus the few farmhands because we do our own farming... and it's us! Complete with barns, sheds, equipment, tractors, cattle, chickens, and the dog(s).
"Dust covers everything: shovels and buckets, swallow nests and spiderwebs, a toy tractor, a chair with three legs, the handprints of the girl and boy in the concrete floor...
... Even the barn cats are dusty."
Oh my word! Sooooo true. Dusting this house is almost a daily necessity. It comes in from outside and coats EVERYthing!!
"The girl steps on a bee."
Seriously?? This summer, Audrey stepped on a bee! Got stung on the bottom of her foot.
"Cut hay smells like summer."
That picture was my life this last summer. And the summer before that.
Even the little town in the book looks like our small town! I'm not kidding. One day I should take a picture to compare. You all from my small town reading this will agree with me.
Even the little water tower beyond the gas station!!
"They stop for hamburgers."
"They stop for milkshakes."
In our small town... one of the only about two or three places that you can eat in town... is a drive-in. It's where everyone goes to get burgers. And milkshakes. And hang out. And catch up. It's where out of towners stop on their way home from the lake. And to most of them... it'll always just be a place to grab a burger in the middle of otherwise nowhere.
But to me... it's my home.
There have been several songs written about small town life. Mayberry by Rascal Flatts, In A Small Town by Kenny Chesney, Small Town by John Mellencamp, Famous In A Small Town by Miranda Lambert. Just to name a few.
When my youngest sister was about three years old, she LOVED the song If The World Had A Front Porch by Tracy Lawrence.
I didn't appreciate the song then like I do now. But this small town life... this is what it's all about. About slowing down time, about knowing people by their first name, about cheerin' at the high school football games, about sitting out on the front porch drinking homemade wine, about watching kids run and dance with fireflies, about being able to walk outside at night and actually be able to look up and see stars in the sky. A place where you don't have to lock your front door if you don't want to, where your neighbors look out for you, where the dogs have place to run outside, where it's useless to take the car through the carwash because one drive down the gravel road and it's dirty again... and noone cares!