Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some Things About Being a Western Girl


I am a thoroughly western girl. Sure, I love visiting new places and the idea of traveling abroad makes my heart beat a little faster. I envision sipping wine and eating fresh fruits and hearty breads as I watch an Italian sunset, from my private villa of course. I love to wander around museums and galleries until my head spins and my feet are begging for mercy, but somewhere in the heart of me the west will always be the place that excites my heart the most.

Why, you might be asking? Well, partially because I have spent nearly my entire life living in the west. Montana, Wyoming, Washington, New Mexico, Colorado are all places I've called home. I also lived in Minnesota for a total of two years in my childhood, so my Western streak isn't entirely unbroken. Either way, I think you get the point that the west is just the area that is most familiar and most comfortable to me.

Last night I was sitting in the rain at a ball game, watching our local team lose, but not really caring because the experience was mostly just about chatting with my family and people watching. I had a moment when I was wondering just what it is that I find so comfortable about living in this part of the world. Here is what I have come up with:

1) Yesterday at the game I saw a full on cowboy doing the robot (a dance move for those of you who aren't in the loop) to Mr. Roboto by Styx. I was really impressed and even mentioned to my mom that this would probably make it into my blog. My brother mentioned that he had recently seen a cowboy riding something like a non-motorized segway. A lot of people talk about all of the strange juxtapositions you see in cities like New York, but I find people are pretty comfortable mixing past and present right here in small town Wyoming.

2) Vast expanses of uninhabited land make me feel like everything is going to be OK. After living in a city for the past few years my eyes were thirsty for landscapes that didn't have a city skyline. I love just looking out and seeing nature. I like realizing that people aren't as big and important as we think. Deadlines and pressures don't matter much when you look out onto the world and take a big deep breath.

3) I have family that actually homesteaded out here! Can you believe that?! My great grandmother, who is still living in WY, homesteaded with her family here. I just think that is phenomenal in a day and age where people are not as connected to the land as we once were. I love having a little history tied in with the land.

4) People wave at each other when we pass on the highway, even if we don't know each other. I like the sense that nobody is really a total stranger. I think this probably gives people who aren't used to it a little bit of a fright, but it's just a courtesy that takes place in this part of the country.

5) I don't mind being the weird one. Here in the small towns of the west Eric and I are the weird ones. With our vegan diets and the clothes we wear and the music we listen to. I don't mind it. When I was a little lady it wasn't my most favorite thing to be the weird one, but now it's just become part of my identity.


Stacy said...

I LOVE #4. I wish often that I lived in a place more welcoming and friendly. Philly is so cold in that regard, not something that is familiar to me. Buffalo often has a mid-western feel to it in that regard.

Court said...

That is just a gorgeous picture! We have been talking about moving out west for a while, but I think I'm probably a Southern girl at heart whether I like it or not.

sophie said...

We are lucky to live in a small suburb of massive Sydney, we know our local grocer and the people who run the DVD store. We are friends with our neighbours and all the kids play together. When I am in the city though it's totally different, nobody looks at you, nobody smiles, it's quite sad.

heather said...

I so love hearing about sense of place- those special things that tie you to a specific area of the land. Thank you for sharing your love and wonder for the big, wide, expansive West. It's so different from the dense, craggy, leafy New England I call home.

Nikki Cardigan said...

It is significant that you have come to be in this place right now, the place that will be your girl's first home. Another Western Girl on her way.

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