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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Answers, Answers

My friend Cheryl asked a few questions over at Flyover People today, and I thought I’d take the time to answer them. What fun!

I would definitely select an ornate box turtle over an American bison for a pet. It’s bad enough carrying baggies when I walk the dogs. Imagine being a pooper scooper for a bison! I’m not always the biggest fan of poetry, but Denise Low would be on the list of Kansas poets that I know and enjoy. I wouldn’t mind living in a dugout for a while. At least I’d have a good excuse for all the dust on the floor.

I don’t even know when Shrove Tuesday is, to be honest, but since my pancake eating is typically done on Sundays, I doubt I’ve ever celebrated Shrove with pancakes. Peanut butter on my pancakes, however, is my preferred way of eating them.

Rather than go all the way to the Dakotas, I’ll find myself some native Kansas stone. Although I have no specific memory of it, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear I did some streaking in the early ‘70s. If I am voting today, I suppose the third decade of my life would be the winner. No boots at work, but I did wear cowboy boots to ride my horse back in the day. It’s hard to think of childhood without missing my mother. I miss my mother the most.

My brother called me Baby Tracy. Most folks just called me Trace, or T-Ray, or Skeeter. Of course it annoyed me when he called me Baby, especially in that high squeaky voice he would use. Skeeter was a name given to me by a dear friend, however, and I enjoyed that nickname immensely. Well, a New York strip happens in some seedy establishment on the east coast, and a Kansas City strip in some seedy establishment right here in the center of the world. I quite regularly go for two or three days at a time without eating meat these days. It’s hard to shun it altogether, though.

I’ve never heard of Cecil Carrier, but I didn’t watch much TV as a kid. I don’t know Major Astro either. I think Steve Hawley’s name is on a sign on the way to Salina. I’m sure there are other Kansas astronauts, but I can’t seem to find any names in my mental banks at the moment. Small towns are wonderful places to raise children, but not too small. Opportunities are what you make of them, no matter where you live.

Rock Chalk… surprisingly, it does raise a few hairs on my arms. No fear of birds of any kind here, except maybe Kansas Snipe. I had some bad experiences hunting snipe when I was a kid. I would not go to any college at this point, but a color never would have kept me away if the proper scholarships were being offered.

I have never once put a political sign in my yard, but I’m extremely tempted at the moment to put up one that says “Ann Marie Simmons for Judge.” So what if she’s running in Douglas County, Oregon. Maybe a few of those folks will fly over and see that, even in Kansas, she’s got supporters, and they’ll be all the more eager to vote for her. I doubt I could bring myself to do much rallying for Americus. If the county sat on them, I’d worry about all those poor people getting squished.

The opposite of Kansas is Sasnak. There are mythical birds there that are really quite terrifying. The official Kansas sport is Cow Tipping, of course. Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.

I’ve become quite fond of the Flint Hills in recent years, but mostly I enjoy pointing out to people that Kansas has hills. I hope they have coconut pie with meringue in Dover. I plan on biking up there in the spring to see what they offer. I don’t know why driving into setting suns in October would be any more or less annoying than any other time of year. I drove home in a doozy of a setting sun today, and it only reminded me that I should have stayed visiting with my friends just a bit longer.

I’m simply happy traveling roads laid out on a sensible grid. Diagonal highways are for the birds. I rarely pay attention to mile markers. The hubby always knows them by heart and it confuses me when he starts blurting numbers as we drive.

I think there was a wooden outhouse behind our house when I was little, but I may be remembering other’s stories of the outhouse that was there. I’m pretty sure I never used it, either way. I felt a badger pelt when I was a kid and always wanted to meet one. It was so soft it was hard to imagine the little critters being scary. Sigh… I suppose I’ll have to be loyal to my dog and prefer a German Shepherd over a lab. I’ve been the tin-man, the scarecrow, Glenda the Good Witch, and Dorothy. I’m still a good witch, if I may say so myself, and my munchkins are the best!

I can tell you which star I call North, though I have little astrological training to support my suspicions. I am aware of the new Kansas law which tells drivers not to linger in the passing lane, and I actually thought about it today as I was driving. It kind of bothers me that they chose to legislate MY driving habits, but it’s nice when they suggest such reasonable actions for all those other drivers out there. 

I think Beefalo burgers would be an appropriate state food. That, or whole wheat bread. Maybe beefalo burgers on a whole wheat bun. You can see jousting events every October in Bonner Springs, and you can see them in my living room these days, as well. We have a medieval Wii game and jousting is popular around here. I don’t think much about old Dwight these days, but the fact that he is the 34th president from the 34th state is good trivia I should share with my kids.

After living for five years in Houston, I am QUITE comforted by the predictable nature of the Kansas map. I look forward to being snowed in for days and days as long as my refrigerator is full and I have plenty of hot cocoa mix. I can’t say that I’ve ever floated in a Kansas river in a canoe, but I’ve paddled a canoe across a Kansas tailwater pit, and in that brief period when the Arkansas River in Dodge City had water, I floated a ways down it on a rubber raft.

Asking automobile insurance companies to pay for street and highway snow removal is an idea I had never considered. I suppose it’s a good one as long as they don’t raise my rates in the process. I have climbed the 296 steps to the top of the dome of the Kansas Capitol building exactly four times now. The last time I did it at night, after dark, and I even got a peek up the indian’s loin cloth. He’s got a very firm heinie, that man.

Carry on my wayward son, There’ll be peace when you are doneDust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind… Yes, Kansas is a mighty fine example of ‘70s rock music. “We’re not in Kansas anymore” doesn’t bother me nearly as much as “Get the hell out of Dodge.” I like to think I am of a uniquely qualified subset of people who actually get the privilege of taking that action.

I did wander astray for a few years there, but—thank goodness—I am back in Kansas where I belong.

 Feel free to click on image to view giant, firm heinie in more detail.


bs said...

Yes, there was a wooden outhouse
behind our house and I had the
privilege of using it!
Proud to be in the subset who
"Got the hell out of Dodge"

Melissa said...

My T-shirt would read "Got the hell out of Dodge '92!"
This was wonderful, Tracy. I enjoyed it so much and will come several times to reread it.

cheryl said...

Loved these answers, Tracy! :-)