Friday, November 4, 2011

Heather Eslinger: Prairie Mother

Mornig Ladies,  I hope all of you, like Heather, begin thinking....what kind of rural woman am I?  I've really enjoyed this rural woman, and I hope you do too.  Take the time to learn something from her.

Blogging from  Give Heather a big Rural Women Rock welcome.

My Rural Life
When I first found Rural Women Rock, I was really excited to meet rural women with such different experiences, which got me thinking...what kind of rural woman am I?

Let's start with the name of my blog, Prairie Mother. You see, I first just picked that name a few years ago without much thought. But really I feel like that name is a perfect fit for what my life has been like the last 8 years. In the little over 8 years my husband DR and I have been married we have lived in 5 states and 8 different houses and have had 3 kids along the way. The shortest amount of time we've lived in one place was six months and the longest was almost three years. The first time I met DR we talked about how much we like to travel, but seriously, I never thought my life would have turned out like this. No, we aren't in the military but my husband works for a large agriculture company. The company is known for moving people a lot. Some of the moves the company chose and some we chose.

My hubby DR

The first few years I absolutely hated all these moves. I lived on the same country road my entire childhood until I went to college! Even during college I lived with my grandparents on their farm. And when I graduated college I lived and taught in a small rural town. This moving business was for the birds. I've always loved the country and have always yearned to be able to stay in one place and set down roots!

But alas, it hasn't been so. But, call me crazy, I have learned to LOVE moving every few years. In fact the last move, from Illinois/Indiana to Southwest Kansas about a year ago, I was actually looking forward to moving again! Why?

Although DR and I have moved all over the place, we have always landed in rural areas thanks to the nature of his job. And rural America is the best place to live! We lived in Delaware for six months. You wouldn't think of Delaware as an agricultural state but it has some fabulous rural scenery. We lived in southern Indiana at a home where our house was completely surrounded by trees and we had an orchard! I had apples out the wazoo that year! I've lived on the prairie of Illinois where we were completely surrounded by corn, for a few months anyway, and battered by wind the rest of the year. And now we are in Kansas which is COMPLETELY different than anywhere I've ever lived! Dry, open and full of beef. In all the places we've lived we've had the opportunity to visit places I'd never had the chance to otherwise; The Statue of Liberty, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Nashville, Chicago, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma. It's been an adventure!

Philadelphia and the Liberty Bell.
What were we thinking dragging 3 month old twins all over that town?
But in all the moves the rural communities have been by far the very best experiences for me. In each and every community, we have been welcomed with open arms and invited to experience and be part of the very best of what every community has to offer. And the very best of every community is the people. Rural folks just know hospitality. We spent my boys first Christmas with Santa on a Harley. I've had total strangers plow out my driveway because, through the grapevine, they knew I was pregnant and expecting a baby and DR wasn't ABOUT to deliver a baby at home. Oh, and the number of churches we've attended and the people we've gotten to know! I've never regretted leaving a place but I've always regretted leaving my church families. In fact, of all the people I still correspond with from our old homes, I met them all at church.

Rural women are some of the most supportive people there are! I've realized in my moves that city women feel the need to "do it on their own" but rural women, ah, rural women are smarter. Rural women know that true strength comes from the community they are surrounded by. When my twin boys were only 2 months old I took them to get their shots and came home with two bawling babies! (No one told me to give them Tylenol first!) I had no family or friends to call on since we were in Delaware and I'd only been there for a few weeks. But my neighbor gladly came over just to hold a baby. By the way, have a baby in a rural will come home from the hospital to some of the best home cooked food ever, not made by your husband!

My fabulous kids;
Yap, Yahoo and Yip
So, I'm not the typical rural woman who has lived on the family farm for 10, 15, 20 years. I'm Prairie Mother...wandering the country, watching over my family and feeling really blessed that, even for a short time, I've been able to be a part of rural communities all over this country. Because, YES! Rural Women Rock!


  1. Thanks for the chance to share my story!

  2. How awesome is that! Traveling all over... Great post!


  3. I follow Prairie Mother's blog. Love her. Great post Heather!!

  4. Enjoyed your story, Heather. Thanks for sharing!