Distraction, Long Overdue

Many, many moons ago, I agreed to be intereviewed by Suz. In the interest of brevity and, well, interest, I will tackle the interview questions singularly.

How did you come to live in Nebraska?  What do you like most about the state?  What do you like the least?

I was born in Nebraska. My Dad was born in the house I was raised in…literally. My Dad, the youngest of 4 and the only son, still lives and farms the original homestead (with a considerable amount of help from my bother, the only son of six children). I want that house and the farm to be forever part of my life and will do everything in my power to insure it stays in the family.

When I was in college, I would fib about where I was from. If I did happen to say I was from Nebraska and the person I was telling was not, the disclosure was almost always met with a sneer and the assumption that everyone in the State was ig’nant. Even Kansas seemed so much more sophisticated in comparison and I couldn’t understand why most people took the border as some kind of barrier between the hicks and the chic.

Now that I’m older, I’m really quite proud to announce to new acquaintances that I’m from Nebraska because that usually seems to surprise people. I still have to clear up stereotypes:

  • I am not a Husker fan. It’s nothing against the team; it’s just that I don’t like sports. 
  • Men do not wear flannel shirts with their sleeves ripped off. First of all, that’s totally impractical for farming (sun, feed, dirt, etc. are best warded off by full coverage), and usually, the older farmers, like my Dad are just really outmoded Cowboys, and quite frankly this picture could be my Dad * if he was skinnier and more tan. Secondly, that look is more for those from the Southern-Central part of the U.S. who seek their fame Noodling  (see, I stereotype, too).
  • We also do not talk like this comedian (notice sleeves?) even though he’s from Nebraska. Not one bit. Our accent is that we don’t have one. If you ever seen CSI – Vegas and listened to Marg Helgenberger, another native Nebraskan, you will note that’s how most of us sound.

On the other hand…

  • The weather is predictably unpredictable.
  • The landscape along the Interstate is as awful as you’ve heard. But true to engineering ingenuity, they definitely took the path of least resistance. However, if decided to stray off the Interstate and “road trip” a bit (yes, most “roads” are paved….with concrete no less!), I think the landscape is breathless.

I can’t imagine being able to spit into my next door neighbor’s window. I can’t imagine watching the sunset over trees, two hours before true dusk. I can’t imagine overcrowding in cities and small countries when you can drive here for miles without reaching a small town.

I love living in Nebraska. I just wish more of YOU did.

* Photo courtesy of The Satorialist

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