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Country Ways
By Joyce Marlow

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 Country Ways

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Country Ways
By Joyce Marlow
ISBN: 0446608920
Genre: Inspirational & Self-Help

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Chapter Excerpt from: Country Ways , by Joyce Marlow

Introduction

Do you dream of finding a man who'll light a fire in the fireplace (and your heart) on a chilly night? A man who's romantic, both your best friend and your lover? A man not just willing, but wanting to make a commitment? A man who dreams of finding a woman to love and cherish for the rest of his life; someone who wants what you want—to be together and to stay together?

Maybe you've been looking in all the wrong places.

Maybe it's time to consider embracing life in the "past" lane.

Country Ways is about real relationships based on honesty, trust, and understanding. Relationships aren't games where one person wins and the other loses. And they aren't based on being mysterious and playing hard to get. A charade may catch a man's interest, but how long can you pretend? Get real, and get a man! And while you're at it, get one worth keeping.

Country men are some of the last good men around. Caring, hardworking men with strong opinions and hearts of gold. Men who know it's tough to find a good woman and who're willing to go the distance to keep one. Intelligent, capable men who are strong enough to value an independent woman. Men who actually like women and if you already have kids will like them, too.

Does the idea of leaving the city for a slower, gentler life sound appealing? Do you yearn for the beauty of a long summer's day, walking along a dusty country lane surrounded by fields of burnished wheat? How about wide-open pastures ringed with towering pines and leafy oaks? Is your idea of heaven exchanging city for small-town life and sharing a cozy country home with the man you love?

Good, because that's what happened to me, and that's what this book is all about. Although I'd thought about turning in my high heels for a pair of boots often enough, I didn't know how to go about it. I hadn't expected to meet and fall in love with a country man or to have my life turned around—all within a few months' time. I did have a few qualms about exchanging my fast-paced city career for life on a hundred-acre farm, but that was seven years and a lifetime ago. Since then I've learned a lot about country men, country women, and Country Ways.

Are you in a place in your life where you consider having a loving relationship a priority? Do you dream of long walks at sunset with the man you love? Would you consider changing your life to follow such a dream? Then turn the page and get ready to embark on a journey that will lead you to the life you've been dreaming of—get ready for Country Ways.


A Word to the Wary

Before you jump into Country Ways, you may be wondering if there really are country men interested in a committed relationship and, if there are, why they aren't already taken. Well, they're here, and they are available. Here are just a few reasons why:

Single country men tend to stay in the country because there's a long tradition of handing down farms and ranches to the men who work the land. Some families have lived on the same ranch for generations and intend to continue into the next. But while single guys are content to stay in the country, single women often leave. If they don't meet a sweetheart growing up (or if they get divorced), they may feel restless. These women gravitate toward cities for what seem like good reasons—more jobs, convenience, entertainment, shopping, and seemingly plenty of places to meet men. But you and I know meeting them isn't enough—you want to meet men who are interested in having a committed relationship or getting married. Although they may be hard to find in the city, believe me, the country offers a great selection of these men!

Of course, some of the available men in the country have been married before—divorce does exist even here in the country. But when country men get divorced, they really want to get remarried. They're looking for a helpmate—a woman who's just a little bit country or one who's interested in making Country Ways part of her future. And while country men want to meet the woman of their dreams, they just don't have time to search the city for a woman who might consider moving to the country. They'd like to find that special woman within a twenty-mile radius of home, so it makes good sense for you to be right in their backyard if you're interested in the kind of man I'm talking about.

I hope I've changed what may have been an initial hesitation to an attitude of full speed ahead. I want to help you find the right man, one who'll be a good husband, partner, and father—a country man!


Chapter 1

What Are Country Ways?

It's pretty much a given that New Yorkers have a different lifestyle from people in California or Iowa. Some of those differences are obvious, like the landscape, buildings, and whether you take the freeway or subway to work. Other differences, like how people talk and act, may be a little harder to explain, but we know they're there. Taking the analogy a step further, it isn't hard to imagine that the culture of city and country might be quite different, too. When I talk about "Country Ways," I'm referring to the culture and customs of small-town, farm, and ranch life.

There's a warmth and richness to country life that harkens back to a time when people were close, whether neighbors, families, or friends. Country life naturally brings people together, rather than keeping them apart, and I think that's because all of us have at least one thing in common. We were either born to, or have chosen to be, country.

Country Ways is a return to the basics—love, courage, and commitment, working hard, loving wisely, and enjoying life to the fullest. Country life is a more authentic, simpler way to live that's measured more by the cycles of nature than the clock, and that means most people are on the same schedule. If you're branding cattle or helping mares foal, your neighbors are probably doing the same. Gardens are sowed in early spring, and the last vegetables are picked in late fall. When you're getting ready to harvest wheat and see storm clouds on the horizon, everyone hustles to help. Neighbors, both far and wide, have a lot in common out in the country, and that brings them together.

Country Ways means knowing we're in this way of life together, that we can count on each other, and that we want to. It doesn't matter whether you have enough money to hire extra help or if you are the hired help, everybody gets mud on their boots. That connection is the heart of Country Ways. It's the same whether you're just starting out or have the biggest ranch in the county. Being neighborly comes with the territory, and the feeling's as natural as the land we work and the families we cherish.

Country Ways is seeing people for who they are rather than what they wear. In the city I'm often drawn to notice the little things that people do to call attention to themselves, to assert that they're individuals. That sort of thing is alien to country life. My neighbor simply is who he is, and dressing him in a $200 sport coat won't change him a bit—and we both know that. In the country we go for substance over image and realize value isn't always measured by a man's wallet.

Country living creates a partnership between you and your man, both in life and love. You're both responsible for the relationship, the farm, ranch, home-based business, or whatever it is you do. You get equal billing, credit, rewards, and hard knocks. Country Ways is being down-to-earth, accountable for your actions, working hard, and loving strong. There isn't much room for "prima donna" types, and princesses need not apply.

Country Ways means letting the little things go and finding ways to work the big things out because you need each other. That may sound like a compromise, and it is, because that's what makes a relationship work. You're making an investment in your life, and every minute counts. You can't have it all your own way, but neither can he or anyone else. Instead you find a middle ground and work from there.

I've found that country men will do almost anything for you if they see love reflected in your eyes. In other words, your reaction to his behavior reaffirms those loving feelings. Simple, really. Country men crave your respect and admiration and are willing to do a lot to earn it. They don't want flattery, they want appreciation, a smile, and a thank-you.

In return, your country man will love, cherish, and encourage you in everything you do. He'll cheer accomplishments, forget failures, and kiss your disappointments away. Does that sound like the guy you've been looking for? Are you willing to do what it takes to find and keep him? Then you're up to the challenge of Country Ways!

Excerpted from Country Ways , by Joyce Marlow . Copyright (c) 1998 by Joyce Marlow . Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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