Sadly, though many in rural America were farmers, the massive mega-farm industry has put so many family farmers out of business. I find that so very sad. There was a work ethic among not only the farmers, but also those that operated the other businesses in town, with a sense of community and mutual support that only happened in certain areas of cities (often an ethnic concentration in a section of a larger city). That whole concept is largely, and sadly gone. One more generation and I suspect it will be virtually unknown in all but tiny pockets of the U.S.
While yours is deteriorating, at least it still exists. It think it kind of metaphorical for the U.S. in the world – despite our deterioration, we’re at least behind most other nations in their own deterioration. So far, we’ve been spared much of the migratory nightmare so many areas in Europe have seen, and we’ve been spared the Zimbabwe-like hyper-inflation, or ethnic “cleansing” that so many nations have seen. We’ve had our own version of it with American Indians, sadly, and sub-groups in American society would be all too happy to see other sub-groups disappear, but at least that’s still very small scale. I’m glad you’ve got what you’ve got up there. I remember what I didn’t fully understand but still sensed and really liked as a kid when our grandparents would take us on trips through New England during summers. I particularly liked Vermont and Maine, and found myself very saddened when I learned of the “death” of the Old Man of the Mountain in NH. Beautiful country, and beautiful culture back then (about 60 years ago, unfortunately).