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They Say – I Say

They say Kansas is boring. Flat. Brown. I’d never seen Kansas until last month, but I’d visualized it for years. Ever since I eavesdropped while my daughter and two of her friends, recent college graduates, planned a sight-seeing trip to California. “Let’s take the northern route coming home,” one said. “Through Salt Lake City and Denver.”
“But that means we have to drive across Kansas,” another moaned. “Have you ever seen Kansas?” She rubbed her hand across my oak kitchen table. “See this table? That’s Kansas. You’ve just seen it.” So those travelers missed the Sunflower State.
Recently, a friend invited me to ride along on a trip to Denver. I like road trips, and I like girl trips, especially with two adventurous friends. And Denver is only an hour’s drive from my youngest Grand, and his parents welcomed me for a visit. I don’t pass up any chances to get Grand hugs. So I packed my bags and crawled in the back seat of a CRV for a two-day road trip. Even though a few people shook their heads and told me, “It’s a long drive with nothing to see.”
From east to west, Kansas is 437 miles, on Interstate 70 W. Imagine open, somewhat rolling land, all the way to the horizon some three miles away. That’s like looking across almost fifty-three football fields in every direction.
Deciduous trees dotted the eastern Kansas prairie. Most fields were green with what looked to be short corn. Field after field of stunted green blades waved. It wasn’t corn – it was grain sorghum grown for animal feed and silage. And the western plains of Kansas were gold, not brown. Warm, glistening gold.
Windmills, the old wooden kind, stood under stately metal and three-blade structures beside farm homes. We topped a small rise on the highway. “Look at all the windmills! One, two, three…” I counted to twenty-seven and grabbed my pen to write a note in my journal. When I looked up, it was impossible count all the silver statues! 100, 200, more. A panoramic picture couldn’t show all of them or the sun’s rays dancing off their gigantic whirling blades.
I admired the wild sunflowers that bloomed along the right of way. I knew that sunflowers are a Kansas cash crop, but I wasn’t prepared for the beauty of a field of golden sunflowers as far as I could see. I marveled at the platter-size yellow blooms and tried to estimate the size of field. As far north as I could see, times as far east, times as far west equaled an amazing sight.
There was more. A small white wooden church stood in the middle of a freshly plowed field, with no houses within sight. Old limestone square fence posts beside the new round wooden posts. Dust devils. And the sunset – a sunset that circled the horizon. Showing off the trees’ silhouettes.
I say Kansas isn’t boring. If it is my oak kitchen table, then it’s decorated with some of the most interesting centerpieces and set with the some of the finest pottery that our country offers. I’m glad I didn’t miss it.
They Say – I Say

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3 Responses

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

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  2. I am a Canadian that JUST moved into a home in Wichita, Kansas. This is my first time in awhile looking at blogs so isn’t it funny that I stopped by yours!! I love your Kansas tale and I haven’t explored very much of Kansas yet but Wichita is pretty nice and the people are friendly too.

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    • Thank you for stopping here. You are the first to leave a comment. I’m a brand new blogger and have given this address to only a very few friends to preview before announcing the site in my newspaper column. Enjoy Kansas! Hope you see the sunflowers and take in a sunset often.

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