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

P.S. Please remember that this post is not protected, therefore, neither are your comments…

10 thoughts on “Distraction, Long Overdue”

  1. Even though I live in the city and as you know I LITERALLY can spit on my neighbors house and they can see me take a bath if the bathroom door is open, I don’t love it. I mean, I love being part of a larger community and having great restaurants & art/culture scene, but I do crave the country. I could never return to the town I grew up in, too much baggage, but I could have a country home where we burn our trash and the dog could run without a fence or leash. Hmmmm……how much is land in NE???

  2. Hey, I was born in Nebraska (it was the closest hospital to where my parents lived in Wyo)! Curious what part of the state you’re in, as I will be in Wyo over that holiday in December, perhaps close enough to get together?. 🙂

  3. See, I never assumed that Nebraska was all hick talking, non sleeve wearin’ folk. I just hate the state because well, it’s just so damn BIG. I think I took three naps and every time I woke up, we were STILL in Nebraska. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel, and the people seemed simpler, but nothing unlike most of the people you’d find in central PA.

  4. There are a lot of geographical stereotypes. When I first moved to the USA (during a blizzard no less), and people learned that I was Canadian, I got a lot of “well you must be used to driving in the snow.”

    Too bad I’m from Vancouver. I do really well skidding in the rain.

  5. I think Iowa is a lot like Nebraska, only there are more hills here I think. However, I’m with you I can’t imagine living in the city and I can’t imagine having close neighbors.

  6. Sorry Cricket – you are smoking something because Nebraskans totally have a neutral dialect. I am convinced now more than ever since I live in Texas. I still love Nebraska though, it will always be home to me.

  7. Honey, you are far gone if you think you don’t hve an accent. Hooooey! You’re almost like a Coen Brothers movie and Fargo.

    Said with the greatest of love and appreciation…

  8. Nebraska is beautiful. I wrote a post about it this summer, but it took me awhile to appreciate the state. I know how much it hurt my husband and his brother when the family farm was sold. It made me sad that my boys won’t have it. So do everything you can to keep yours in your family!

  9. I LOVE Nebraska. I’ve lived in Minnesota or Wisconsin most of my life, but I absolutely love the open plains. My husband thinks I’m a dork. Every year we drive to Vail. He wants to drive at night, but I insist on seeing Iowa and Nebraska during daylight hours. On the way home I will actually let out a sigh of relief as we come down the last stretch into Denver. Not that I don’t enjoy the mountains, but I get a little causterphobic (sp)!

    Plus there is nothing better than seeing a good thunderstorm roll in. I love being able to see it coming for miles. And the lightning. Ahhh, it’s wonderful.

You can say it here.

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