Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nebraska, the Good Life

This past week, Ute and I were visiting my parents. As many of you are well aware (let's face it, 99% of you, my precious few readers, are friends or family), I hail from a smallish town in Nebraska, population approximately 25,000. I didn't grow up on a farm or anything. Rather I would be considered "city folk" by the majority of Nebraskans since there is a Kmart AND a Walmart in my hometown. But I did grow up on the edge of town across the street from an alfalfa field, began working in the corn fields detasseling seed corn at the tender age of 12, was a member of 4-H, and raised rabbits. The latter was actually illegal. I often marvel at the fact that I would never be able to raise my current critters within the city limits of my hometown. Even though our house was situated on a rural route for mail delivery, we were technically within city limits and therefore could not keep small livestock animals within a 50 yard distance of any dwelling. And for those of you out there who are spatially challenged, 50 yards is like a long distance, even in land o' plenty small towns.

Whenever I return to my roots, I expect to eat the typical Midwestern diet and engage in the standard activities, respectively eating fast food, fast food, and more fast food, and sitting in an overly air conditioned home watching television. Well, when in Rome. However, this last visit held so many unexpected culinary and pastime delights. Here are some of the highlights:

swimming at the super awesome water park with Grammy Betty,

admiring the neighbor's flower garden on evening strolls around the block,

eating local cuisine (I was so shocked to see that this trend has reached the Midwest.) at places like The Back Alley Bakery,

which carried a wide array of locally grown, organic grains

and fancy cheeses,

and, hands down, the best kolaches I have ever eaten,

feeding ducks and ducklings at the park,

watching crazy thunderstorms with dark ominous clouds on one half of the sky and a bright shining sun on the other,

gallivanting around the county fair

where I took Ute and her cousin, Zane, on throw-up rides,

watched the 4-H pygmy goat show,

with some pretty uncooperative goats,

and saw this cute little boy win Grand Champion for his cockerel at the poultry show,

visiting my friend Dan's cabin on the North Platte River where he took us pontooning,

and frog catching,

and wading in the lovely river,

and best of all, spending quality time with the Kooy family.

What a wonderful trip! But I'm glad to be back on the farm. I know my DDF is relieved. Taking care of all the plants and animals, working at his regular construction job, and simultaneously helping build the retaining wall in the backyard has really taken its toll. And there's so much for me to do here at home. All the animals' quarters need cleaning, the chickens need feed, Miss Lorraine needs to start her 3 day injection of antibiotics for her eye infection that is not clearing up, there is a tree full of apples that needs to be picked, and a couple tons of apples that need to be processed or stored. Come to think of it, I better get off this computer and get to work.

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