Missouri LifePosted Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at 7:23 PM
I would be remiss if I didn't tell you what it was like to move to Missouri from Idaho.
At the time, I was a single mother with two young children who moved with a group of people in 1987. It was our chance to start over and we put it to a vote. My son Courtney, who was just short of his 9th birthday and Kelly, my daughter who was five. The vote consisted of me asking how would you like to move to Missouri? Courtney's question to me was, "do they have bugs there?" When I replied that they had plenty of bugs, he voted yes. Kelly didn't hesitate either.
Prior to our moving, someone had told my daughter Kelly that people in Missouri ate frogs. This worried her a great deal. It was her first question to anyone she met in Missouri, "Do you eat Frogs?"
Both of my kids are pretty adventurous. Courtney hasn't found a creepy crawly creature that he didn't like. Kelly didn't get too squeamish about the creatures either.
After a year of living in an apartment, we moved to a trailer house in a mobile home park. It was the very first home that I had ever purchased on my own. It was very close to the grade school and had a huge field adjoining the park. There, the kids found crawdads and other assorted creatures. I woke up one morning and I kept hearing this clicking, buzzing sort of sound. When I looked in the bathtub, I saw a multitude of crawdads. Another time it was cicadas and some kind of caterpillars. I had to take this in stride because, I didn't want my kids to be afraid of anything.
In the late spring, they had two 5 gallon buckets full of frogs. I hate frogs! Luckily I was outdoors when they came back home, or I might have found them in the tub too.
Finally, the park manager approached me and told me that they would have to stop digging on the slope of the field. So that ended the wildlife migrations for a while.
I experienced my first tornado warning in that park. We hadn't been there long and I had no idea where the storm cellar was. I was panicked, not knowing where the storm cellar was. Fortunately, there were other people hurrying for cover too and showed me where the cellar was. It was a true storm cellar that you see in the movies, dark and crowded. I had nightmares for weeks about getting caught in a tornado after that.
I spent the first year getting lost. The freeway system is very different here. On I-84, if you miss an exit, no problem, just go the the next one and turn around. Here, you might end up in a neighborhood that is less than friendly or out in the countryside. My kids were pretty concerned about me getting stressed and spent most of their time telling me it was okay.
But over the years, I have come to enjoy the rich history that Missouri has. There are the old-fashioned town squares and brick roads and little family cemeteries along the roadside. Two large Amish Communities and lots of trees! You will even see a courthouse or two that has a cannonball lodged in the wall from the Civil War.
Our President Harry S Truman lived a few blocks from my home. His library is less than a mile away. There are also big antebellum homes from bygone years. My husband and I have gone to the boot of Missouri to visit the Stars and Stripes Museum. We have traveled to many towns in Kansas also.
There are days when I miss the wide open spaces; fresh dry air, the glorious sunsets and of course, the smell of sagebrush. Here we do not have to water our lawns. There is plenty of rain and with that comes the humidity, which a person never gets used to.
I have been blessed throughout my life with great friends and living in Missouri is no exception. Whether it is in Idaho or Missouri,there are people who hold a special place in my heart.
Making changes can be scary, especially when you are just a small-town girl who came from a town without traffic lights. But I have never regretted the move and enjoy my visits to Idaho/Home.
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Walking the Fence Line
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.