Thursday, August 20, 2009

Where seldom is heard...

...a discouraging word, and the sky is not cloudy all day.

Atticus, you rock. Thanks for feeding the blog while I disconnected for a few days.

I'm back from suburban Mullen, Nebraska, along the banks of the Dismal river in God's Country--surely one of the most beautiful areas on earth, the Nebraska Sandhills. Specifically, I was here, and here.


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No cellphone coverage, no wireless Internet. Just good sport, hearty food, great companionship, and a pleasantly exhausted collapse into bed at the end of a wind-burned and sun-drenched day. For those of you not from our fine State, it is just hard to describe what you experience when you drive north from the big city of North Platte on Highway 83 or 97. You've never seen so many stars and such natural beauty.

I encountered a visitor from New York City who was an early riser like me. Over coffee on the porch, he quizzed me about the weather, the local economy ("No, these would be ranches, not farms") and the landscape. I was explaining what I could about the group of Sandhills counties named after Civil War generals. We concluded that his apartment building has a greater population than Grant, Arthur, Hooker, Thomas, Logan, and McPherson Counties combined. He just went on and on. I don't think he'd ever been anywhere where the people were so...nice.

Sometimes you forget what you have in your own backyard, and how great it is to live and work in a place where the one-finger wave is performed by lifting the index finger subtly from the steering wheel to acknowledge a stranger or a friend you meet on the road. I understand that in New York City the one-finger wave carries another meaning--and employs a different digit.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It cracks me up that people think that Nebraksan's are different than others, not that you are making that suggestion, but a lot of people in Nebraska think that. It comes down to "nice" people are more common in the smaller, slower paced communities of our country and probably world. The biggest problem with our society is everyone is rushed to do nothing. Everyone wants everything right now and handed to them without working for it to boot. Yes Nebraska Sand Hills are awesome. There are a lot of other areas in our country that are even more beautiful. I suppose that is a matter of opinion. I'm glad you had a great get away and enjoyed the nature. It is nice to take a break from the concrete jungle.
Welcome back.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm very jealous. So, how was the golf? I've heard that course is unreal. I'm happy you were able to experience it, it's not an easy course to get on!

Phillyun said...

I recently drove through Kansas, passed ~175 vehicles and waived at all of them. 8 waived back. Another ~30 were "inattentive" (on their phone, adjusting the radio or looking the other way) so they never had the opportunity to waive back.
We do live in a great state and yes, there are other areas that also are great. I'd be willing to bet that most rural areas of both Nebraska and North Dakota would yield well over 50% "Friendly digit" waives back with 0% being "unfriendly".

Anonymous said...

Chief, try Highway 27 south from Gordon to Ellsworth sometime. The sunsets in the Sandhills are beautiful.

Lorimor said...

The Sandhills are Nebraska's best kept secret. There's nothing like 'em.

Mary said...

I'm from the Sandhills and it is God's own country. Your post made me incredibly homesick.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

Oh yes, the one finger wave.

Dick said...

Warms my heart,makes me want to tear-up, what with the landscape and the looser from New york. Has the media picked up on this newsy flash. 1)What did you shoot 2) How many bullets did you come home with, 3) Given 4/side at Holmes National you will have your lunch handed to you on an platter by me. Bring it! 4) You got to play one of the finest golf courses in THE WORLD. Who do you exactly know? 5)Are you running for office?

Anonymous said...

What did he shoot? Buck-tweleve. No gimmes, no mullies.

Anonymous said...

Awwwww. You ever seen him chip? Buck 20-thirty comes into play.