That Good Ol’ Country Life


Alexa McClain, Journalist

Last year was difficult. It included A LOT of screen time for pretty much everybody. We did some online learning and relied on technology for most of our social lives. Well, over my summer I did some readjusting and broke away from that norm. I went and got me some fresh air in the grand state of Texas!


My Alabama born and raised dad and step mom Mindi just recently moved to Stockdale, TX. For more perspective, that would be right on the outskirts of San Antonio. They decided that with their new five acres they should lay a farm filled with all kinds of flightless birds including Cochin chickens, Silkie chickens, Polish chickens, Frizzle Cochin chickens, Barred Rock chickens, Salmon Faverolle chickens, Americana chickens, and Isa Brown chickens. Now, I know what you must be thinking, “Alexa, why are you telling us a story about how your dad only has a farm of chickens?” Well, funny you ask because there are a couple of Bourbon Red Turkeys somewhere in that mix too. 

My sister, Shelby, and I spent the summer caring for the animals by feeding them, giving them water, picking up any eggs laid by hens, and cleaning up their living space. It really gave us something to do since we were out of reach from internet connection. Yep, that’s right…we had zero internet connection.  

Alexa and her sister Shelby taking care of the chickens.

I gotta say, I wasn’t looking forward to no internet for a month, especially since I was forced to lose some snapchat streaks, but by the end of it, I would say that it was definitely worth it. We were forced to get away from the stresses that constant social media held. Our time wasn’t being consumed by TikToks or by the serious comparison issues that social media may bring, but instead we thoroughly enjoyed each others’ presence. 


On one of the first few days that we were out there, my dad wanted to walk my sister and I around the property. On this protracted walk I couldn’t help but to think that this was going to be a long summer. I couldn’t help but to think that this city girl was going to have quite a bit of readjusting to do before she could accept how this next month would go in the country. 


My dad and Mindi burned a lot of fuel and trees which was what the land mainly consisted of. Shelby helped them with that too. I just watched them work on that part. To be honest, it looked like really hard work that I didn’t want to be a part of. I did however begin to show a slight interest in this outdoors activity when my dad showed us how if you dig a mini trench around your fire then the fire won’t spread outside the line. It created this massive flame in one area that we just sat and watched as if it were fireworks. 


I’m not gonna lie, it took a little convincing to get me to participate with things that needed to be done on the other side of the front door. I was promised a shopping spree by the end of our summer by my parents if I did some things other than the dishes, cleaning the living room, or anything that consisted of doing inside the house. So, Shelby and I started on the shed. That thing needed to be organized so badly. Man oh man, was that the scariest thing ever!

There were bugs everywhere! The shed was filled with boxes of dusty tools from the previous owner and with those tools were giant spiders that I swear could have passed as tranchulas. After Shelby and I decided to quit our sweet sisterly bickering over who was going to move a box and discover a new spider, we put on our big girl britches (that’s how you say pants in southern) and got the job done.   


It felt really good to accomplish a big job like that. It took us a couple hours but it was definitely worth it in the end. I felt so macho after that and really began to feel more and more like a country girl. It was great to know that I served my parents and helped them out. 


On another day, I pulled weeds from the cute Garden that Mindi had put together in front of our home. I absolutely loved doing this. It was therapeutic in a way. I just jammed out to some music on my dad’s fancy speaker and worked. What I find nice about doing yard work on their property is the fact that it is surrounded by trees so there is no sun beating down on you. Us pasty people have to watch out for that often. And by “us” I mean only my little brother Jaxson and I.

You know how when you have a long tiring day and then you eat good food, nothing sounds better than just scrolling through TikToks in your bed, all wrapped up in your favorite, most softest blanket? Yeah, well that life doesn’t exist in the world of Jaxson. Happy hour for him is play play play hour. Shelby and I, with no phone, always had time to play. I think Jaxson’s favorite of all of the made up games that we created is the one where I save him from monster Shelby. I think that it was the time that we played with Jaxson that I was most thankful for the fact that we didn’t have any service. I obviously don’t get to see him often given that I live in Arizona, so it felt really good to know that my phone couldn’t steal away that precious time from me nor him.  


We spent other days in good ol’ Stockdale hanging out with my parents’ close friends, Will and Ashley, who also had a farm. They have a variety of chickens, ducks, Turkeys, and goats. Shelby and I particularly get along with their family because of their fun kids. Shelby and them played with BB guns for a day. Shelby might argue, however, that if she had a working phone in her possession then she wouldn’t have had to learn what getting scope checked was.


At their house, I got a taste of what it would be like to actually own a goat. They had us tackling their goats so that we could trim their hooves. I must say, that was a bad day to be wearing my white shoes. They got stepped on all over. Come to think of it, everyday in Texas was a bad day to wear my white shoes. 


The only days that technology was in the picture was usually at night when we would all come together on the couch and watch one of the many movies that we bought for my dad on Father’s Day which included Fury, Only The Brave, The Book of Eli, The Shawshank Redemption, etc. We even watched those movies sometimes in the day when my dad and Mindi were at work because lucky for us, we all have the same taste in movies. 




It was very different driving around in Texas vs. driving around here in Arizona and in the city. There was so much open space everywhere. And the greenery just took over every view.


As we drove around, we saw small buildings every half mile labeled “The Country Church” or “The Cowboy Church”. I found it interesting since I am a part of a big church and don’t go to a more private one. I thought trying out one of these small churches would be fun. Over this huge interest that I showed in these cute looking churches we decided to try one out on the last Sunday of our visit in Texas. 



I enjoyed going to that early Sunday church service for the fact that it was just so country and southern. The pastor was a straight up cowboy and after the service everyone watched people of the church ride horses in the parking lot. The worship music was interesting because it was like regular Christian songs but turned into country music. I had a grand time during worship. I was clapping and dancing and everything else! 


I absolutely loved being a city girl in the big country. I exhibited an entirely different way of living for a month. I learned how to keep myself occupied without service, I pretty much got over my extreme fear of crickets, and I got closer with my family. I guess it’s true what they say about Texas, it really is grand.