Monday, June 6, 2011

Remind Me Again; Why Do I Live Here?

It is hot outside! As I write this it is already 94° outside, on its way up to 100°. The rest of the week looks pretty much the same. Days like this I wonder why I stay in this state of extremes. Winters can have temps in the negative digits; while summer we swelter away in the extreme heat. Spring and fall, the wonderful break from all this lasts about 2 weeks each! In the winter I contemplate living in south Texas, or better yet, Cozumel. In the summer the mountains of Colorado call my name. But here I remain, in Kansas, year after year after year. Usually this urge to flee is satisfied with a vacation get away to somewhere where the weather is pleasant. So why am I still here?
Before I answer this question; a quick disclaimer. Everyone has a different opinion. I am not knocking whatever wonderful state you happen to live in. I am simply stating what I like about my state.
Kansas is my home. I have lived here my entire life. My roots are here. My family is here. The people are friendly and the cost of living is low.
Kansas weather is rarely boring. There is a saying here, “Don’t like the weather? Wait awhile, it will change.” A Kansas thunderstorm is a performance by nature itself. They can be truly beautiful. Enough snow in the winter for an occasional day off from school.
Kansas sunsets are some of the most beautiful and colorful I have ever seen. Our blue cloudless sky can seem to reach forever. Less than five minute drive out into the country, and stars light up the night sky.
Kansas is right in the middle of our country. Close enough to get away. If I really need to take a break I can. In a twelve hour drive I have 20 states to choose from that I can visit. I can visit the Rocky Mountains, Minnesota Lakes, The Gulf of Mexico, Mt. Rushmore, Graceland, the Alamo, and the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. I can cruise the Mighty Mississippi, eat fresh Wisconsin cheese, walk in Kentucky bluegrass, and visit the Windy City. I can chill out in the lakes in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri or visit a plantation home in Alabama. I can walk in a Civil War battlefield in Arkansas, eat Cajun food in Louisiana, and visit the Amana Amish communities of Iowa. I can experience a rodeo in Cheyenne Wyoming, tour the Carlsbad Caverns or Native American Cliff Dwellings.
Kansas has its own beauty. Ignorant people say Kansas is flat. They obviously have not traveled much around our state. If I drove from north to south in eastern Colorado, I would call it flat too. About 1/3 of the state of Colorado is as flat as about 1/3 of Kansas is. Kansas just doesn’t have the Rocky Mountains in the other 2/3’s of the state. We do have the beautiful Flint Hills, the Smokey Hills, and truly beautiful amber waves of grain.
Really, not such a bad list!  I think I’ll stay awhile longer.

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