Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Nebraska

It has been 14 years since I've lived in Nebraska and 3 years since I've visited.  It is funny how endearing a place can become when you move away.

At the Sunken Gardens
Back when we lived in Canada I would talk to my mom on the phone in March and she would tell me about spotting a robin, or about all the flowers that were coming up.  I would look out my window at the snow banks and dreamily wish myself back down "south" where flowers start coming out that early.

Thanks for the photo, David VE (I took it off your FB)... :D
Another thing that makes me pine for Nebraska is the space.  You can drive down a highway going toward the interstate and see the headlights of cars miles before you arrive there yourself.  Those big skies got into my blood.  There is something wild and beautiful about being able to see the whole horizon and when we go back I love to watch the topography change as we drive toward the mid-west.  The flatter it gets the more excited I get.

Dennis isn't from Nebraska.  One of his most poignant memories of Nebraska was the first time my family hosted his family in Nebraska back when we were dating.  The temps were up around 100 F the whole time  but we still dragged them all over the city to see the capitol building, the Sunken Gardens and to go on a picnic.   All I remember was being SO hot and freaking out about some bees that came along to the picnic.  I'm pretty sure the whole experience included some screeching (due to the bees, of course) and whining (due to the heat, of course)- neither of which made a very good impression on the future in-laws, I'm sure!  But it was so very hot.  And the bees were so very scary.

Enjoying Pioneer Park with three little girls on a hot summer day in 2009
Other things I miss about Nebraska: The Mill (coffee shop I used to go to a lot, especially with my dad), cicadas singing in the trees on summer evenings, the smell of freshly cut grass (I know you can smell that anywhere but for me it is sweetest there), driving an hour to go swimming in one of the very few lakes in the whole state (I'm serious!), crossing the Platte River and checking out the water level based on how many sand bars I could see, going out with my brother late at night to Village Inn for pie or just driving around aimlessly and talking, ahhhh... I shall sigh a happy sigh now.  :)

Anyway, memories are funny things.  Maybe someday I will daydream about Manila like this.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.


Sabrina said...

To be perfectly honest Valerie, I had never thought of visiting Nebraska.. however, after your sharing post... it sounds absolutely lovely... now I think it may be on the list of places to see :)

Ron Easton for Dads UnLimited said...

In case I'm under Sabrina's name, I will tell you that it is actually Ron first. And to tell you that I hear you about the distance making the heart growing fonder. I remember it leaving for Iowa, that Ontario was going to seem so far away...

Ron Easton for Dads UnLimited said...

Hi Valerie.
I remember that feeling as I was driving to Iowa too, and that was just a half day drive, not a two day flight away.
Well, when I spent those seven years on Venus it was worse for me :) You know, one-upmanship.

Anonymous said...

I remember the heat and the cicadas but not the screaming!!
In-Law, out-law

Jean said...

Forty four years ago I thought it was terribly flat on the northern prairie (just like lots of NE) but now I really enjoy getting back on the flat land where one can see "for ever" almost and walking is so very easy. I understand how you "pine" for NE.
"Distance makes the heart grow fonder"

PS you can have the 100F - I'm sure it isn't a humid as Manila though.