Though you may not have seen much coverage of it on the local or national news, a natural disaster took place last week in the heart of America. Wildfires ravaged through the plains and prairies of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, destroying human life, an estimated 5,000 head of cattle and 1 million acres, as well as homesteads and ranches.
This hasn’t been a popular news story because it didn’t affect the masses living within urban areas, it wasn’t politically fueled and there was no rioting to spark controversy. It hasn’t been on the news because it affected a group of people that – rather than march, protest, loot or cause any disturbance at all – tend to keep their head down, get their work done because they have a responsibility not taken lightly and typically mind their own business.
Since the devastation set in last week, thousands of individuals in hundreds of rural communities nestled in dozens of fly-over states have rallied together to gather supplies to assist those farmers and ranchers who lost the very basic tools they need to function as a working operation: feed, fences, horses, veterinary care and more.
Livingston Machinery convoy of hay Wednesday morning leaving Fairview, OK and heading to the area impacted by the blazes.
You see, there is fortune to be found in these fly-over states.
middle of nowhere
The fortune found is rural Americans.
Where there are rural Americans, you’ll never go hungry
Do you have a new baby? Rural Americans will stop by with casserole and pie.
A death in the family? Rural Americans will stop by with casserole and pie.
Did your youngest finally get engaged? Rural Americans will stop by with casserole and pie.
Did your basement flood with the spring rains? Rural Americans will stop by with casserole and pie.
Is the t-ball season finally over? Rural Americans will stop by with casserole and pie.
Where there are rural Americans, you’ll never need a high-tech home security system
Rural Americans have made a reputation of keeping a watchful (nosey?) eye on the community. They’re the first to call you when they see a suspicious vehicle parked over by the shop, sure to ask why the vet truck was at the barn for three hours last Monday and the first to call when they don’t see your daughter’s minivan at the house over Christmas.
Where there are rural Americans, you’ll never “not know”
As long as there are sale barns, kitchen tables, high school athletic games, church bulletins and farm auctions, word will get around. Folks in urban America may have high speed internet and Snapchat but they’ll never have the ability to push a message out to an entire community faster than the rural American main street diner.
Where there are rural Americans, you’ll never go without
Rural Americans supply the help when needed, sometimes in the form of a truck load of hay, sometimes in the form of a 14-year-old able-bodied son who is willing to work, sometimes in the form of a quarter cup of sugar. Rural Americans give when they can, where they can, and however they can.
There is fortune to be found in our beloved fly-over states, and it is each other. What an advantage we have to live in a world where we don’t have to hire moving trucks because we have friends with trucks and trailers. We don’t have to send Honey Baked Hams from some warehouse 2,000 miles away because we have a freezer full of farm fresh pork and a recipe card from Mary Jane’s Kitchen, 1976. We don’t have to fight life’s toughest moments alone, because we have Rural American neighbors, friends and strangers across the country bowing their heads when prayer is needed most.
We don’t have to search for good in the world,
because we live amongst it.