Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ten Ways I Knew I Was In Kansas

1. The women in the airport called me "Hun". What is that about? When we lived there 30 years ago, I thought they called me "Hun" (short for honey) because I was young and cute. I'm not young anymore but I admit, I'm still cute---maybe that's it.

2. There were no mountains on the horizon. In the Puget Sound area, you cannot see even a block away because of our steep hillsides and dense foliage (unless, of course, you are looking out over the water). My husband's mother grew up in Kansas and the mountains of Montana always made her feel claustrophobic. She missed being able to see. I can see that.

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Manhattan, Kansas

3. There were bridges over creek beds with no water. In fact, I saw no water except the Missouri River from the airplane. I grew up next to the "Missouree" River and near its headwaters in Montana and I will never ever say "Missoura". I did see someone pulling a boat down the freeway which is a normal sight in Seattle. Since I could see not a speck of water anywhere, I thought it odd.

4. There were bugs--"big-uns" (big ones) as they would say. At the golf course, I drove the golf cart while my husband and his siblings and cousins played. It was super fun. I have never been on a golf course before and this was a great way for me to be outside and experience the Kansas sun. And yes, there were sunflowers. But when I took a bathroom break in the clubhouse, I had to stifle my own blood curdling scream. A gigantic three inch black bug thingy was floating in the toilet. Eeeeeeeewwwww! We do not have such horrors back home.

5. The golf course had haystacks around it mixed in with the nice houses. I guess when you have no water to look at, they build houses to look at people playing golf on green grass.

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Haystacks at the golf course.

6. It was windy. This was a strange sensation for me. In the Puget Sound area, the air is still with barely a breeze most of the time. We have windy days when a weather system is moving in and we have our famous windstorms that knock down trees. But the usual normal day like today is perfectly still. The wind on that golf course was non-stop hair tangling litter blowing golf ball interfering phenomenon.

7. Speaking of litter--it was an effort for me to keep our cups and sandwich wrappings from blowing out of the cart. At the end when we turned the cart back in, I was clearing out our garbage. A trash can was near-by but I had recyclable materials that I would never throw away including paper and plastic drink bottles. When I asked the young male employee in his golf course t-shirt where the recycling was, he looked at me like I had asked him where the UFO had landed. "Ah, we don't have that....ah, recycling."

8. I never did see a Starbuck's nor did I see drive through espresso stands on every corner.

9. Oh, but there were to die for BBQ ribs. Dave's cousin owns a BBQ rib joint/bar/restaurant in Manhattan. Kansas BBQ is the one thing we missed when we moved here. The minute we walked in, Dave said to me, "Smell that--you don't smell smoky BBQ like this in Seattle." And when I ordered wine with my ribs, I got the same stare from the young female employee with her restaurant T-shirt that I got at the golf course. "Ah, we don't have wine...just beer and drinks." I guess you don't order wine with ribs---at least not in Kansas.

10. There were sweet "potata" fries and BBQ beans to die for. At the picnic on the last night, the beans that were served with the hamburgers were like nothing I had ever had before.

Only in Kansas......!