FOR a long time I never quite fitted in. No matter how long I lived in the country I still felt like a city girl. An outsider. I could can tomatoes with the best of them, but I was still considered a city girl.
It was the little things that gave me away. Calling a huckleberry pie blackberry. Blushing when a cow's anatomy was discussed in mixed company. Not recognizing rhubarb.
The other day I realized that my brother, who lives near Chicago and is into computers, is a rural person. I should have realized it before. When he was 6 he grew green beans in an orange juice can on the windowsill. The plant yielded three beans. We cooked them in a large pot of water and ate them solemnly with about half a stick of butter. There was an appreciation, an awe. I saw that awe on my brother's face recently. Actually he was describing a talented co-worker on the computer, not a green bean. But the appreciation was there.
These days I feel that I fit in. No one considers me a city girl anymore. I even know the difference between a gopher and a chipmunk. I look happily across the neighboring farms - barns, chicken houses, fields. I tell myself I have arrived.
So why am I hunting through the garbage for an old orange juice can? I've grown lots of green beans in the garden.
Maybe one more on the windowsill wouldn't hurt.