Guest Post by Amanda Gallop
In a big city like New York or Boston, a seven year old driving a tractor is a rare and strange sight. But in a tiny town in the Nevada desert, this sight was about as common as seeing vultures perched on fence posts. I think that everyone can agree that the place they grew up has had huge impact on their lives. For me, that place was Fallon, Nevada, complete with family-owned shops, cows, horses, and farmland, lots and lots of farmland. This is a completely different world compared to the skyscrapers and cramped living of big cities, and I believe this has shaped me as a person.
One aspect of this life that has shaped me was living on a 20 acre homestead. Every morning I would get up, help my dad feed our animals (two dogs, three horses, two ponies, and three cats), and then proceed to get ready for school, where there were eleven kids in my fourth grade. On weekends, instead of going to the mall like kids in other cities might have done, I mainly helped my family with work around the house and on the property. Helping repair fences and irrigate fields were not uncommon chores for me. Not only was I doing chores, but I was also studying the Roman Empire, Alexander the Great, and the Magna Carta in school.
Another aspect about my past that has shaped me is how small our community was. For most people, going to the neighbor's house means walking to the house right next door. For me, that meant putting on sneakers, walking across dirt roads, through fields, and across a stream until I finally reached the closest house. Being an only child, this was worth it just to see someone who was two years older than me, so I think this has caused me to be very independent.
One of my best memories is the time I rode my horse to school. We were reading Little House on the Prairie, and I asked my dad if I could ride my horse the two and a half miles to school. To my surprise, he said yes. I still remember trotting my horse down the road and into the gravel parking lot at my school. I jumped off, gave the reins to my dad and went to class.
All in all, from the 100 student K-12 school to the 20 acres of adventure that I grew up on, all the aspects of my neighborhood and early life have shaped me as a person and made me who I am today… ready for adventure.