Sunday, July 31, 2005

Scenes from Home

While in my travels this past week I took a couple on-the-go pictures. "On the go" meaning I was driving at the time.

I never said I was a perfect driver.

Anyway, anytime I meet someone from afar three things are always commented on. Always. The first is my name. Roxanne. Just the mention of the name usually brings the person to song. Yes, the song by the Police about the prostitute.

Oh how proud I am of that song. Not.

The next is always a 'Wizard of Oz' reference. Like "where is Toto"? Or "Why didnt you wear your red shoes". Or "where are the munchkins".

Aha. Ha. Ha. Uh. Ha.

Where is a falling house when I need one?

Anyhoo, the last question is usually about KS itself and the assumptions that comes with this state. First one is that the state is completely flat. Hill'less I say. Next is that there are no trees. None. The final one would be that we are ravaged by tornado's on a daily basis.

And once apparently a little girl and her dog were swept away in one and stuff.

Now - the facts on Kansas. First, its not all flat. Really. Walk a couple miles after running out of gas on any highway here and you will discover this yourself. Drive across Interstate 70 thru the Flinthills and you will see, er - hills. Beautiful hills in fact. There are some expanses of land that are flat - but every state has that. This is farmlands for Kansans. If its flat - then something is being grown on it and odds are you have ate it. Be it beef, corn, bread or soy.

Next the tree theory. Uh, we have trees. Not massive redwoods in miles and miles of forest - but trees nonetheless.

Trees. Trees without the forest fires. :)

Next would be the tornado issue. Lemme just say that tornado's are awful, horrible tragedy's. I don't want anyone to think I am downplaying the devastation a tornado can wreak. You've seen the pictures - and I am so sorry for those who have had this touch their lives.

I am blessed as living in Kansas my entire life (well - maybe 4 years were elsewhere) I have never seen a tornado, been anywhere near where a tornado struck nor do I know one single person who has seen a tornado. And I have family clear across the state. Again, I know that many (many) folks have dealt with this horror - just saying that I have not.

For which I am thankful.

I will say that one assumption about Kansas is dead on. No water. The lakes are just sad. Really, really sad. This is not a picture of a lake but a really fancy schmancy pond on property just down the road from my home.

A KS lake is maybe 30 times that size, weed ravaged and usually packed with campers thruout the summer. When I was a kid the lakes were wonderful, I spent most of the summer at Kanopolis lake. About 10 years ago we went to spend a weekend there and found a diaper floating in the water.

Just not the same lake I remember as a kid.

I really miss the water - which is why I wouldnt mind living somewhere closer to the ocean.

In writing this post I hope that you too will post about your home on your blog. What are the misconceptions about your area? Oregon - is it really rainy & humid? Canada - are the prices really ridiculously high? Australia - whats the deal with the roos? Belgium - do you really get sick of chocolate after a while? (no... can't be). Michigan - does it really snow like crazy all winter? California - is it really overcrowded?

Stuff I'd like to know. From one who knows.

Hoping you all are in the middle of a great weekend!


At 5:36 PM, Blogger Christine said...

Thanks for clearing up those misnomers :)
And, awww, I feel so special to be on your sidebar.
I live in CT, which has long island sound and own a boat, when are you coming? Oh, and my guest bedroom is nicer than my room and houses the stash...yeah, you know which stash...lmao

At 6:00 PM, Blogger laurie said...

got to make at least a brief comment on this one :-)

no, it doesn't snow all the time in michigan ;-)...though i can remember (yes grandmaw remembers children lol)times when it was much more snowy than it has been in, oh say the last 10 years...if we get a couple feet total it's been a lot lately *sigh*
it can be quite warm here as well (this summer has been averaging upper 80s to 90s with >50% humidity UGH), but things can change rapidly--the joys of being surrounded by water. frankly i envy susie...she lives in a lovely part of the state.:-)

funnily enough, the only other place i've lived was kansas! we lived a year in wichita when i was very young, and we DID happen to have frequent tornadoes while's one of the few things i still remember about being there, and was a contributing factor as to why we moved back to michigan...which is FAR from free of tornadoes, but somehow they don't seem quite as nasty as they are in the 'tornado belt';-)

so much for a brief comment *blushing and going back to the lurker's corner*

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Rox said...

You know, I always proof read my blog hours after I post it. Its at that time that I realize (usually)- (ok - all the time) that I start on one subject, and teeter over to another. Without realizing it, of course.

So - my name really has nothing to do with my home state. Nor myths about my home state. Sigh. It was just throw in for good measure. And stuff.

Christine - don't make offers you can't keep... cuz... I'm looking for airfare prices. hehe

And Laurie - ... I see you there! What a small world - I grew up just about 90 miles north of Wichita. You shoulda called! ;)

At 9:00 PM, Blogger LisaB said...

Oregon - yes it can be quite rainy. But mostly in the valley area. We in Portland get quite a lot of rain. But out in easter Oregon is the high desert that doesn't see much rain. And I wouldn't really call it humid. Not much at all. It has been lately with the high temperatures that we have had, but not normal. We don't get snow in Portland too often. It was always a novelty as a kid, because school would sometimes be canceled. There are lots of trees in our area. Very very green.

Did I inform you? :)

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Living in Alabama, I am familiar with the preconceived notions others can have about "home." Unfortunately, many are not nearly as amusing as the Wizard of Oz references. Having suffered the looks and giggles about Alabama, I have developed a philosophy about what makes a place a good one in which to live. It doesn't matter where you live if you can find good people. I have lived in the states of Washington and Iowa (and delusion and denial, but that's for another day), and they have their lovely attributes, too. However, Alabama is where I found love, and that has made it "home" for me.

At 6:46 AM, Blogger Christine said...

Rox, Rox, Rox, I never make offers I don't intend to keep ;) Look for fares into Bradley (easiest for me to pick you up) and google the NY Sheep and Wool Festival...It's in October and I am soooo going...Lemme know!

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Adelable said...

Hey Rox,

The prices can be ridiculously high in certain parts of Canada, but those are usually really difficult places to get to and people are often paid accordingly (though there are definitely issues of poverty as anywhere). I live in Edmonton, and the $13.95 CD in the States is usually priced $13.95 in Canadian shops, which means it's less money for the American visitors. I also have never worn snow shoes, run with a dog sled, nor have I ever spent any time in an igloo (though we dug out a snow drift one winter to make a wicked fort!). And Maple doesn't do very well in Alberta.

And there's a tornado belt here in Alberta, and I've happily never experienced one though I've seen the devastation they can cause.

And Laurie, I feel your pain about the lack of snow up here too. But I met some people from Michigan awhile ago, and they were a little annoyed with me because they were having to escape the "Alberta Clipper". We have another name for it...I think it's the Arctic Low.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Well I'll join in here. Every Maryland resident lives within one mile of a body of water. I live near three! But living near the beach has its downside--the TOURISTS!! I won't go on, since it's the end of summer and by this point we really just want it to get cold so everyone will go home. It's very pleasant and pretty here, but that means you have to share the joy with lots of other people. I think I'd take a place a little less gorgeous in exchange for a little more privacy.

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Cindy said...

I really enjoyed your expose on Kansas and think you are perfectly just in clearing up the misconceptions about your home state. I live in NJ and as many will tell you (as incorrect as they may be) that it is an industrial wasteland that SMELLS! Well I would like you to know that this terrible rumor started as a result of Newark Airport. When visitors fly into NJ they come into Newark/Port Elizabeth - which by the way is an industrial wasteland that SMELLS! However, if they venture into a car and travel no more that 10 minutes in any direction, they will discover that NJ is really very beautiful. We are afterall, the "garden" state. We not only have industry, we have beautiful beaches, lovely forests, quaint towns and a great deal of historical sites.

I will say that I have been to Kansas (I spent two weeks there on business). I liked it, I thought parts of it were vey nice. I do have to say that they made a huge deal about rush hour traffic, but I guess they never drove in NJ at rush hour. I did like your photos, but I do think you should concentrate on driving (especially at rush hour).

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous ck said...

I'm glad you got us all straightened out about Kansas! I live in Cincinnati, OH...the city of 7 hills. Unfortunately, most of the "misconceptions" actually have truth in them.

One thing though is the people misspell it quite often. Here is some info on that and Cincinnati in general

At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Rox said...

Thanks Chickies - just look at all the myths we have cleared up about our home states! I loved the comments!

Yes, yes - you did inform me. :)

Canada has tornadoes? Who knew. And who knew the plural for tornado was tornadoes?

I've been to Maryland. One of the tourists. But I was a good tourist. I think. Kind of. I hope.

Alabama - talk about a state that gets more than its fair share of torture. I was watching ESPN (hubby had the remote apparently) and there was a college coach on there who put the host of the sport show in his place. The host was asking the most awful questions and really dissing the state - the coach laid into him. Loved it.

Oregon. Someday.... I will get to see that part of the country. Someday...

Never been to NJ either but hubby has and he loved it. Someday... I'll get up that way too!

What? There is a festival in NY? But my travel agent (yeah you Susie) never mentioned it. Must... Google...

And just for the record... I don't realllly drive and take photos all the time. I'm in fact a very good driver with only one accident ever - and I was 13 years old. And things you did when you were 13 don't count.

And stuff.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Karin said...

I live in Chicago now, grew up in NY state. My misconceptions aren't really about Chicago in general but about living in an inner-city major urban area.

NO, there are not gang members everywhere, and if you do see them, they will not shoot you. They don't care about people not in gangs for the most part. Yes, you can leave your door unlocked for the most part and be safe. Just because you are out at night does not mean you're about to be mugged. Of course you do have to take precautions when you're somewhere crowded or somewhere notorious for crime, but not all of the city's that way. There are many, many nice, safe areas that are just like living in the 'burbs.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

I was born and lived in Michigan for the first 24 years of my life. Laurie cleared up the Michigan snow issue. I guess the misconception that always annoyed me was the Detroit was Michigan. There is SO MUCH more to my home state than Detroit. And most people don't realize that.

I've been in Colorado since 1997. I've never really heard of any misconceptions about Colorado. Anyone have one you'd like me to clear up?

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Rox said...

Colorado. A complete mystery to me. Only been from the KS border to Denver but... I'd swear its just like KS. I caught a vague impression of the mountains in the distance... I think!

Was really kind of wierd as I've always heard all the stories about the beauty of the state - but all I saw was giant expanses of land and the city. Must travel beyond Denver next time!

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

"Colorado. A complete mystery to me. Only been from the KS border to Denver but... I'd swear its just like KS. I caught a vague impression of the mountains in the distance... I think!"

Until you hit the Front Range (Ft. Collins, Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo), Colorado is like Kansas. I live on the plains and I love it. I also love my view of the mountains. :)

You must travel into the mountains, Rox. The scenery is breathtaking.


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