City girl learns from the country

Published 7:52pm Friday, April 26, 2013

After living in Selma for nearly nine months, I feel as though it’s time for me to share a secret with you all. For those of you who have gotten to know me, this probably won’t come as a shock, but I’m finally ready to share this news with the world — I am not, as hard as I try, a country girl.

Try as I might to pet random animals I see roaming my street or to knowingly be in a room lined with guns and stuffed animal heads, drive down dirt roads or attempt to bait a fishing hook — things I assume come easy to true country folk — are still a struggle.

I have only ever been fishing once in my life, and that was a deep-sea fishing trip I took back in high school. The experience was great, but it’s been eight years since I’ve even considered doing it again, if that tells you anything.

This past weekend I went fishing for the first time in Selma, and I have to admit, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Being outside, soaking in the sun in a tiny johnboat with a few friends was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. And even though I was draped in a flowery scarf and giant sunglasses, I think I may have began to let a little bit of my inner country self out.

This week, as I interviewed organizers for the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament and Elton Reece, Selma’s Parks and Recreation director, I gained a new perspective on the “most natural” outdoor activity. Reece told me he hoped kids would attend Saturday’s Cabela’s King Kat Kids event at the East Selma Fish Pond because, “it’s a part of life.”

“It’s just one of those things that the Lord put on the Earth and it’s an opportunity to put children and parents and grownups together,” he said. “It’s just a natural way to have a good time and enjoy what the Lord’s given us.”

The representative from Cabela’s told me he encourages children to start fishing at a young age — because it growing up in a rural community you are afforded many different opportunities.

“By living in rural communities, we’ve had the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors,” he said. “And not every child has that opportunity, and it’s left them with different choices and sometimes not good choices.”

While I fell into the category of someone who didn’t have that opportunity, I understood the message of what he was saying — that having someone who can teach you to hunt or to fish or other things about the outdoors, will give you a greater appreciation for what we have.

Even though I didn’t grow up fishing or riding down dirt roads, I still think I’m young enough to learn and appreciate those opportunities. While I’m definitely still a city girl, Selma is helping me learn to appreciate the country.

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