I am from Eastern Kentucky. The place where stereotypes run wild. Yes, we have hills and hollers, might be called hillbillies but we are more than that. There are love and compassion here, fellowship and humor. We are more.
I am from places where tractors, four-wheel drive trucks and all terrain vehicles are more common than luxury cars. I am from the place where a fishing pole, shotgun or a knife are passed through families for sport or for providing for your family. The place where fields are plowed and hay is cut. Wild berries are picked and preserved or consumed right on the spot. Mud and blood sometimes go hand in hand and one is enjoyed as much as the other, badges of honor.
I am from the place where neighbors still care. A call when you’re sick, a hand when you need it. A place where evening visits end in the early morning hours. Bonfires and cookouts, trail rides or camping. Where food and drink are shared as freely as the laughter and insults. Where people turn into legend from the good or the funny that they do.
I am from the country where our pride and our work ethic go hand in hand. Where we can play as hard as we work. And fight for what we believe in.
A place where country churches are filled with song on Sunday morning and the service sometimes ends with baptism in the creek behind. Where we still have dinner on the ground and churches are not the only holy places.
I am from frogs singing in the pond as the whip-o-will calls on a starry night around the fire. I’m from sweaty days that grow long in the fields under the baking sun and end with a dip in the creek. I’m from country festivals where the smell of frying country ham and pork chops vie with the exhaust fumes of vehicles searching for a place to park. I am from the sound of rifle fire in the cold morning air on the first day of deer season. A child’s first deer or fish, held with pride as they grin into the camera, knowing that this is what’s for dinner.
I’m from backyard baseball games refereed by lightning bugs. I’m from fodder shocks in the front yard cut fresh from the garden. I’m from sledding down the hills with the kids and throwing snowballs until laughter makes you drop. I’m from swinging on the porch swing in the spring air with the scent of flowers blowing past you.
I am from Eastern Kentucky.