Stillwater News Press

Outdoors

July 13, 2014

Dirty Ruffles column: Eagleton mixes country, city personalities

STILLWATER, Okla. — My dad is 100 percent country. My mom is 100 percent city. I like to think I got the best of both worlds.

Being raised this way, I was able to taste life on both sides of the track. My mom always made sure I had a bow in my hair, socks with ruffles and perfectly matching outfits. My dad taught me how to ride a horse, pitch a tent and bait my own hook.

I grew up in a small country town about 45 minutes away from the big city – Fort Worth. We lived down a dirt road on 15 acres with a creek bed running through the back, with horses and cows.

One of my earliest memories is of my uncle hauling cattle to our house. He offered to give me a heifer if I helped him. As a 5-year-old, I’m sure I wasn’t much help, but he held up his end of the bargain. Queenie, as I named her, became all mine. A few years later my dad sold her while I was away at summer camp. I was traumatized.

As I grew older, I began to side with my mom’s city view of life. Like most teenagers, I couldn’t wait to graduate and move far away.

New York City was my dream. Somehow though, I wound up in Oklahoma.

And I love it!

Texas will always be home, but Oklahoma is a very close second. I have a new dream now. I hope to someday live way out in the “middle of nowhere” — a term I used to consider offensive.

In the meantime though, I am enjoying my time as an Oklahoma State student. I am also trying to encounter as many adventures as I can.

See, I forgot to mention that as a child I also developed a love for adrenaline. My parents nicknamed me the daredevil. Propose a crazy idea, and if I think it’ll give me a rush, then I’m all in!

My goal with this new outdoor column is to take you along with me on my many adventures.

Many people tend to think of the outdoors as men’s territory. However, I disagree. Some of you might feel the same way.

Anything from hunting to skydiving, you can expect to read about in my column once a month. I drive a truck and I don’t mind getting a little dirty, but at the same time I’m still obsessed with my monogram.

Who says women can’t be in the outdoors right alongside the men? This country girl, with a city side, is going to show you the bow and ruffles can look just as good with a little dirt on it.

Merrick Eagleton is a reporter for the Stillwater News Press. Her column will appear regularly on the Outdoors’ Page on the third Sunday of the month. She can be reached by email at meagleton@stwnewspress.com

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