We flew back to Kansas last week. Kansas is my husband’s home state and where we lived for over 30 years. It holds a lot of good memories.
We drove from east to west across the state visiting family ranging in age from new babies to those in their early 90’s – good genes.
The sunrises and sunsets were as beautiful as we remembered.
The food we enjoyed was all over the board from delicious barbecue at Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, to Schmitty’s, the small-town eatery, where you can order a fried bologna sandwich, or to the family-owned frozen yogurt store, Purple Swirl.
As you pass through my husband’s hometown of Gorham and other neighboring small towns, you can’t help but admire the limestone churches my husband’s family and many others helped build in the early 1800’s and the individual coops waiting for the wheat, corn, and soybeans harvests.
Gorham still maintains their community spirit including murals that memorialize a high school that my husband and his eight siblings attended but closed years ago and a small park where our daughter and her cousins played. Once a year, the Gorham Economic Development Association sponsors a morning 5K and an evening dance downtown at the park to further promote the future of the town.
What does the future hold for some of these small plains towns beleaguered by a shortage of population and water but an excess of wind? Since we last visited, miles and miles of wind farms have been established and now border Interstate 70. Beautiful or ugly? Well, it depends upon whether or not you view it as a way to become less dependent upon other energy sources.
And, after you leave Interstate 70, it wouldn’t be the Midwest without stockyards doting the landscape and deer grazing along the road.
Every state in the Union has its own natural beauty whether it is mountains, canyons, lakes, beaches, or the simple beauty of the open landscape of the plains states.
We truly enjoyed our visit to Kansas and the joy of reuniting with family – the many laughs, smiles, memories, and tears we shared. Getting together with family for a family reunion is a really good thing because, take my advice, it is a lot more fun than some of the alternative reasons for gathering together.
Have a great week.