One of the things I love best about being female is being privileged to know so many fabulous women. There is something about the women of the Midwest that is real. The kind of “real” which is imbued with sincerity, caring, strength, humor, and the pursuit of fun.
They speak their minds. Some women do so bluntly in a “take no prisoners” way, but most will tell you what they think in a thoughtfully worded statement trying to help but not wound the recipient. That is the caring part of the equation.
Caring enough to bring food to an ailing neighbor or shoveling the sidewalk for another is a commonplace occurrence. These women are caring enough to volunteer to help out at church and school events without griping about it. They don’t think twice about helping because the culture they grew up in incorporates the ethos of good works and citizenship into daily life.
Women who get up at the crack of dawn to help milk cows before making breakfast, sending the kids off to school and heading to their “day” jobs. After work, they work on the evening meal, head back to the barn to milk cows once again, and then drop into bed after the homework is done and the kids are bathed. A strength of body and spirit enable these women to do this day in and day out–not Monday-Friday, but 365 days a year. Dairy farming is not for the idle.
The strength of dealing with hard work when the rewards aren’t designer clothing, fancy vacations or luxury cars. For many women in the middle of the country, our rewards are evidenced in having a roof over our heads, bills paid (but not paid off), and food on the table. Our lives are simple, but money can’t buy the luxuries our world offers. Natural beauty, a sense of community and a focus on family are a few of our rewards.
We don’t need to get overly raucous or lewd to laugh and have a good time. A weekend of camping and/or a concert are some of my favorite outings. We aren’t perfect, but when we aren’t our friends are there to keep us safe.
I was born in New York City, but the majority of my youth was spent in the Midwest. I’m just a Midwestern girl, and I’m darn proud of it!