Monday, April 19, 2010

Going Home

My grandfather on the family farm, circa 1940s


There's something about going home that makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Despite the six hour drive, when I see the landscape change, feel the hugs of my family, listen to their conversation, and absorb the love and laughter around me, I feel like the most blessed person on Earth.

Life moves slower in western Nebraska. Once I get off the interstate and have to slow down to 65, everything else seems to slow down, too. You pass tractors on the road, see acres and acres of cows grazing in the pastures, and find lots of cowboys and farmers around. This part of the state isn't as economically "rich" as the eastern portion of the state. With the difference in the land, farming is harder here. You have to irrigate your crops and can't count on the rain to see you through the growing season. Tough summers with hail storms, drought, and wind and tough winters with snow, ice, and blizzards make it difficult to keep a positive attitude about farming. My family has had their share of storms - weather-related and financially-related - when it comes to farming, but it's only made us tougher.

You see that toughness in the residents, too. Their faces reveal it in the lines and cracks around their eyes. But there is joy, too. Joy in a life spent working hard and reaping the rewards and knowing that you are building a firm foundation in your children and generations to come.

I come from that tough stock. That strength has sustained me through many of life's storms. And when I go back home, I am reminded of where I got that strength - from my family. I carry the reminder with me on the long, six-hour drive back, and into the city and its busy, crazy traffic and people living at a pace far removed from the one I just left behind. It gives me peace to know that I have a mountain of support and love standing solidly behind me, forming an unbreakable circle.

It is then that I know...I am truly blessed.

6 comments:

  1. I know COMPLETELY what you mean. I used to live in Dallas and then Colorado, and was away from my little SETexas hometown for 13 years. Every time I drove home, I would soak in that feeling of everything slowing down and the smells and sights of my youth. Nothing in the world like walking into my parents house after that drive. Nothing.

    Now I live there again, ironically across the street from my parents house. They are dead now and the house belongs to someone else, and it seems odd sometimes to look at it and know I can't just walk in.

    But now when I go out of town, and come back, I get that same sense of belonging. And what's better, so does my daughter. She loves seeing the big water tower and knowing we are home.

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  2. I got nothing to say but great post.

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  3. I love this! My heart always picks up pace as I near the county I grew up in. Magic!

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  4. It sounds so lovely and simple, but I know it's much deeper. Thanks for taking us along with you.

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  5. You are very blessed to have that background, and that strength of family and history, to sustain you in your life.

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  6. I really must visit Western Nebraska one day. I'm a country bumpkin at heart (although the city has it's necessary appeals). I always feel a pull to ruggedness, earthiness, barrenness even at times. That sloooowing down as you get off the main roads, is something I can identify with Melissa...

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