Often when I am in conversation with others the fact that I am not a Native Kansan often pops up. Over the weekend a friend asked, "Have you learned to enjoy living in Southwest Kansas?"
I didn't answer right away.
It's not that I don't like southwest Kansas, I do. But there are so many places and things I miss about Indiana at different times of the year.
I never thought I would miss spring rains in Indiana. Ever spring my sisters and I battled mud in the barnyard as we went to do chores. I mean mud that would suck off a boot if you weren't careful. Yep, I miss that.
Well I always knew I would miss a good shade tree. Growing up there were three large maple trees in our front yard that my siblings and I spent a lot of time playing around and in. I've yet to find a shade tree anywhere as good as those I grew up with.
And of course I desperately miss Indiana's colorful autumn leaves. I had forgotten how wonderfully the humidity of Indiana permeates everything and creates rich, earthy smells...especially in leaves.
More than those things though I miss certain places at particular times of the year. I miss my brother's crowded old farmhouse when we get together for Christmas. Granted it's never crowded except for that day!
I miss laying on the sweet green grass to watch the 4th of July fireworks in Columbia City over the highway with semis driving underneath them. (Remember the year it was so cold we were bundled up in blankets, hats and mittens?)
But the thing/time/place I've really missed this winter are the snowy Indiana roads....after they've been salted!!! Kansas needs to be introduced to my friend the salt truck. On New Years Eve we had 5 or 6 inches of snow. But for a week or more afterward this is what our town's roads still looked like.
Of course the state roads were cleared.
The town and dirt roads like the one below stay snow covered pretty much until it melts off naturally.
Sometimes I see graders or tractors out on the roads working, but really there isn't much of a difference after they've been through.
After driving on this I sure miss Indiana. In Indiana as soon as the snow starts falling the salt trucks are on the roads in force! Indiana snow doesn't have a chance to get to slick or packed on the roads; the salt combined with the friction from passing tires melts anything pretty darn quick. What Hoosier hasn't had the enjoyment of driving in slush??
Well, yeah, there IS that down side of having a lot more rust on your vehicles because of all the salt. MAYBE the salt makes Hoosiers a bit too confident when driving in bad weather. I'll take it though.
Huh, never thought a salted road would be something to be homesick for!