Simple isn’t stupid

August 1, 2012

Many people assume that my home state of Nebraska is nothing but cows and cornfields. They are surprised to learn that its biggest city, Omaha, boasts events like the Olympic Swim Trials, the NCAA College World Series, and one of the nation’s most popular zoos.

I’ve never lived on a farm. I’ve never gone to the state fair (but I will attend for the first time later this month…can’t wait to blog about THAT). I’ve never wrestled a pig. I don’t travel on horseback. I don’t consider steak a food staple. What other Nebraskan myths can I debunk?

The point of this post is not to sell you on Cornhusker football. Please don’t falsely assume we all have season tickets because college football is the only thing happening around here. I’m also not trying to convince you we are as fast-paced and exciting as major metropolises across the country.

The point is that we don’t have oceans or mountains or great public transportation, and I’m ok with it.

After college, I chose to remain close to family because, frankly, I couldn’t survive without their support. Plus, my husband never wanted to move either so once we had kids, our desire to relocate diminished even more.

However, I like to travel and see how other people live their lives.

I recently backpacked across Europe, fished in Iceland, danced in Spain, drove to western Nebraska. Yep, I was THAT adventurous. It was a work trip and I got to ride along as a coworker navigated. I learned to appreciate the vastness, the emptiness, and solitude of what I saw out my passenger side window.

What intrigued me the most was how every community we visited was gracious with their time and attention. It’s not that they’re not busy. I’d bet that the vast majority of people I met put in more hours than city slickers half their age. They are simply too polite to not shake your hand and hear you out.

They don’t spend hours a day on the latest social media outlets updating people on their interests and whereabouts. They prefer to sit down to dinner together and share how their day went. They don’t waste away hours at the water cooler gossiping with coworkers about reality television. They’d rather live in reality…from sunrise to sunset.

Yes, we Nebraskans may be slower. And you could learn a few things from us.

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2 responses to Simple isn’t stupid

  1. 

    Funny I just returned from my annual 2 week vacation in Nebraska last weekend. Yes, San Diego resident here, who vacations in Nebraska — a great state and possibly my home some day.

    Each year I fly to Boulder, CO, meet my brother, load up his truck and head Northeast with a heap of friends. We spend the first night in Ogalala and just chill at a Best Western with a fun indoor pool.

    Wake up in the morning and head to North Platte where we stop at the WalMart and pick up our provisions for the weeks. Lunch is always at Runza. From there, north to Thedford. A room at the Arrowhead for the night and we star gaze from the railroad tracks across the road. In the morning we eat at the Arrowhead Cafe with the largest pancakes on earth — and good. I once asked for maple syrup and the waitress said, “Sure honey. It’s in the kitchen, third shelf on the fridge, help yourself.” That actually happened.

    Head down the road to Halsey — home the Nebraska National Forest — yes, there really is one. Spend a few days there day hiking, climbing windmills, and of course the Ranger’s tower. Evenings are spent jumping from the bridge at the Forest entrance into the Middle Loop river. After a few days we head further north — Valentine. Beautiful country; rugged, piny, canyons, and great grasslands — and the Niobrara river, where we spend the next week camping, tubing, cooking epic meals and playing guitars.

    Yes, Omaha too is a wonderful place — great restaurants, wine bars, the people are amazing. Will be there each November — Sincerely, Husker Fan

    • 

      I’ve been meaning to ask you about weight lifting. My son, who is 10, has expressed interest. He is a tall, lanky kid (already wears size 10.5 for shoes). Left-handed pitcher in baseball. My husband doesn’t want him to bulk up his upper body too much. What kinds of weight lifting exercises are appropriate for a kid his age?

      Sent from my iPhone