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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ABC Blogfest of my Home State - A, B, and C

Once again, I’m late for the party. I’m late for everything. Even dinner.

I have been catching up on my blog-reading, and saw that Alex posted has something about another A-Z blogfest...and since numb hands kept me from completing the last one, I thought I should give this one a go. I mean, seriously, lightning rarely strikes in the same place, right? We'll see what happens just after letter L and before M this time. Hopefully, I'll have a chance to write about M, and maybe even N...

Aleta at Fleur de Aleta is hosting the ABC of Your State weekly blogfest. Today is “C.” However, since I've missed two weeks...I'm going to do A, B, and C all together.

I am from Nebraska. Before you ask, “Where is that?”, I present you with this visual aid. Yes, I did anticipate your question, based on having been gone for nearly 25 years now, and well, being asked this very thing countless times.

Before we proceed, I do want to say that this is all from my own perspective. I left my home state when I was ten. Therefore, I have a pretty sheltered point of view. I took Nebraska History the year before we moved, and do have some memory of facts and figures – for instance, I can tell how long in miles it is from North to South, and from East to West in my home state. However, as far as culture, etc., I have only a child's view. Top that with the fact that I lived in a farming community of less than 400 people, a county with approximately 6600 people, my range of the real world was pretty small. So please forgive the lack of insight into greater things. I will touch on some places I have been, but again, it is usually from small range, looking back, all those years ago. From the adult perspective, I have of course, been back. And the contrast of the young innocent love versus the older city girl is very intriguing.

My goal in this blogfest is to remember my childhood. I lived a ton of life in those short ten years. The world was mine for the taking. And I took all I could. The one word that always comes to my head when people ask me about growing up there, (usually with utter disbelief that a town that small even exists) is FREEDOM. I want to write about being free.

This tree is in Nebraska.
Arbor Day

Arbor Day is a big deal. Arbor Day was founded in Nebraska City, Nebraska in 1872 by a guy named J. Sterling Morton. The whole purpose of Arbor Day is to plant trees, take care of existing trees, and you know, hug them.

When I was in elementary school, we celebrated Arbor Day. I don’t really remember a lot about said celebrations, but I know we at least talked about it, because that knowledge is in my head. Apparently, for good.

My parents and I planted three trees in front of our house when I was little. We were in Nebraska a few years ago, and I noticed that those trees are varied in size, the two bigger ones surround a smaller one, and I found that to be quite symbolic, two parents caring for their child, in the center.

Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge

Confession: I did not know this bridge had a name. I mean, I guess I assumed it did. But when I pondered B, ‘bridge’ kept coming to mind. This is the bridge that connects Omaha to Council Bluffs, Iowa, over the (you guessed it) the Missouri River.

Like I said, we moved when I was ten. I have this memory of riding in a big yellow moving truck with my dad through that bridge, thinking my life was over. It was the last moment of living in Nebraska. We went through it on every trip back, and it was exhilarating going in and always sad going out. The bridge is big, to a child’s eye, green, and very symbolic of a moment in my life I thought I would never recover from crossing that bridge.   But now I see it as symbolic of a moment that changed me for ever.  For good.


GO BIG RED! That embodies the Nebraska mentality. There’s a joke that you know someone is from Nebraska if they have three or more shirts that say Cornhuskers. It’s true. When I was little, UNL was a Big Ten team. They were unstoppable, as was Cornhusker fever. Herbie Husker was a fixture on lawns. It is a lifestyle. There is no choice. You are born a Cornhusker. You will die a Cornhusker.

There’s my first three letters. I’ll see you next week for D.