Friday, June 04, 2010

Fightin Indians and pickin up buffalo chips

Over the weekend, a young man said to me, "I don't know how you live in Kansas. It's so boring. What do you do for fun?"

Sadly, it's not the first time I've heard that kind of thing. And, quite frankly, I want to smack such people over the head. Seriously. What do they think we do in Kansas? Fight Indians? Battle hoards of grasshoppers? Pick up cow chips for fuel? (And, don't even get me started on the Toto crap...)

Kansas gets a bad rap--an undeserved one. Most people's impression of Kansas comes from driving through the state on I-70. Therefore, they see a 400 miles stretch with 2 miles along either side of the Interstate. Guess what, I-70 was built where it is for ease of construction. The engineers wanted a relatively level area to make construction cheaper and easier. If you are traveling west, Kansas is the first state you come to that takes more than 4 hours to travel across. So, it does seem like a long monotonous trip. Additionally, the Interstate is not urbanized all the way across Kansas like it tends to be in eastern states, so you do see more stretches with fewer fast food restaurants. And, yes, there are fewer trees out here, so it is an abrupt change from the eastern stretches of Interstate.

If you truly want to appreciate all that Kansas has to offer, GET OFF THE INTERSTATE.

In Southeast Kansas, you've got part of the Ozarks and mining communities. In North Eastern Kansas, you've got lots of rivers and trees. Then there are the Flint Hills. In Central Kansas, we've got the Postrock country. And, more hills. In South central/west Kansas, you've got Red Hills. Northwest Kansas has more rolling hills and don't forget the Arikaree Breaks. You don't hit really flat country until you get to the extreme Southwest corner of the state. Even though it's flat there, it's beautiful country.

And nothing is better than a Kansas sunset. Nothing, except a Kansas dawn.

You can see the stars--lots and lots of stars in Kansas.

As to what we do...

Idiot, we do the same things that you "blessed city dwellers" do. Only better.
We have electricity and central heating and cooling. We go to church and visit with our friends. Sorry, but there are no wild Indians left to fight. We have Malls and the same stores you have in your cities.

Just because you drive across our state doesn't mean that you "know" what it's like here. Believe me, you've missed the best parts of Kansas by driving through on I-70. And, you know what, with an attitude like can just keep on driving.

But, next time, when asked "What do you do in Kansas?" I think I'll say, "Well, just yesterday, I had to draw water from the windmill to do laundry. Then, I had to go out and pick up buffalo chips to build the fire with so I could cook lunch for the chillins and then I had to shoot a couple of Indians who were trying to steal my chickens."

Wonder what kind of reaction I'll get from that???


Karin said...

LOL! You're a hoot! I hear you loud and clear - we get the same comments. Since moving here, people think they're incredibly clever when they ask if we've seen any aliens. Honestly? Holler if you want any help with them Indians!

Anonymous said...

What's funny is the first thing on the list you say is you guys have electricity and a/c. Yes WE all have that too but lol I think better. Anywho on behalf of the blessed city dwellers: I've been visiting kansas over a span of two years and can conclude. That kansas is boring. Everything closes to early, not enough plazas that are interesting for young peopl. Before you know you've done everything in town. Cities are the best , try coming to beach cities , come to the westcoast!! As for. The guy that said that to you, I see your upset because kansas is your home but man..its true kansas gets boring and the days are too slow

Shelljo said...

Dear Anonymous...

You are exactly the kind of person I have a problem with. "Boring. Everything closes early, not enough Plazas that are interesting...Cities are the best..." I have lived in the city...yes, I have--one outside of Kansas too. You can keep it. Oh, and days here are 24 hours long...just like they are on the coast. Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to stay on that old interstate and don't bother trying to appreciate Kansas...