My friend and I recently took a trip over spring break, and on the way back we were discussing what our ideal house and location would be. Most people would say a mansion on a hill or a beach house in Hawaii, but not us. My answer was a log cabin in the middle of the woods next a creek with floor to ceiling windows that looked out on the water in my home county in Alabama. Her answer was a farmhouse in her home county as well.

Many people don't like living in the country. They see it as a backward way of life with no cell service, nothing to do, and nowhere to go, and while that may be partially true, like anything worth having or doing, one only has to work a little bit to see the beauty and wonderfulness of living in rural America.

I grew up in the country my entire life.

Google Earth can't even correctly find my house. The nearest town is eight miles away, and it only has a population of 1,932. I find it amusing that people think cities with 50,000 people are small, but I digress. I love living out in the "boonies." I love the openness. I can stretch my arms and not touch my neighbor's house. I love the chirping of the crickets and the tree frogs on a warm night. I like hearing the call of the whippoorwill and bobwhite, and if you whistle just right, you can get one to answer you. I love being able to look up and see the stars at night and pick out constellations. I'm no astronomer, but I can find the Big Dipper and Orion. I love going out to the garden and picking big red tomatoes that have so much juice you can't help but get a little bit on your shirt.

My people are storytellers, like most country folk.

I like hearing them recount the past, like the time my Pawpaw got in trouble at school for pinching his pencil between his lip and nose like a mustache and had to stand like that in front of the class as punishment, or the time Buttons the mule ate my Momma's and her sister's good lace church socks off the clothesline. That mule lived so long that I can remember him from when I was little.

I like sitting on the front porch on a summer evening.

Front porches are good for many things: storytelling, reading, shelling peas, and neighbor watching. All good southerners know that a front porch is essential for keeping up with what your neighbors are up to, even if the nearest one is a hundred yards away. I love the outdoor recreation that is right outside my door. See, there really are things to do here. Hiking, kayaking, and fishing are just a few things we enjoy doing. I love the sunsets that light up the skies with streaks of pink, purple, yellow, and orange that are prettier than any artist's masterpiece. So, you can keep your mansions and your beach houses.

I'll be right here, sitting on my front porch with a sweet tea in one hand and a good book in the other.