From the Farm:
WYOMING FOR ME
Published in the Casper Journal June 25, 2011
I just made an executive decision ... I’m moving to San Diego. After two beautiful days of blue sky, warm weather, lovely beaches and indescribable flowers, I can’t resist. My husband and I traveled to San Diego for his business conference. While he was in meetings, I spent my time strolling paths by the bay, watching amazing ships, listening to the seagulls and drinking in the aroma of jasmine hedges lining the walks. While I’m not generally a fan of big, dirty cities, San Diego seemed clean and inviting. Friendly trolley car drivers explained points of interest as we drove through the streets. Smiling shopkeepers offered assistance as they sold everything from produce to Italian ice cream to tourist shirts. The Navy presence — everywhere in San Diego — was astounding and impressive.
Coronado Island was incredible. I visited it twice. The white, sandy beaches and the warm Pacific Ocean were tantalizing. Glittering flecks washed up with each wave (was it gold?) and the beach sparkled as far as I could see. The lovely island history — both Mexican and American — appealed to everyone. I didn’t bring home much in the way of souvenirs — just a few photos and a sunburn — but enough memories to draw me back someday. So lovely. So different from Wyoming. So impressive.
Various circumstances have taken us to many places in the past three months. Besides San Diego, we’ve also been to Denver, Chicago, Detroit, Salt Lake City and Omaha. Quite frankly, every city has impressive sites, and the people are friendly. America the Beautiful shines. On second thought, I could probably live anywhere in our great country and be happy.
But even with the beautiful places we saw, I was always glad to come home. Every city had its downfalls: gas prices, toll roads (who’s bright idea was that???), tornados, security checks and lots and lots of rain. When all is said and done, I’ll still take Wyoming. Nothing quite compares to our beautiful prairies, laid back communities and incredible wildlife, not to mention an affordable standard of living.
In just the past week, summer has come to our farm. Tiny corn, potato, onion, pea and bean shoots are poking through the ground. The irises are in full-bloom, and the aroma of lilacs wafts through the air. Hills all around are green, and our chickens are laying constantly. (We eat eggs every day!) We may not have hedges of jasmine or a deep blue bay to watch, but the overflowing North Platte River, just down the hill, is nearly as impressive! The ponds of Edness Kimball Wilkins State Park may not be the ocean, but my children still spend hours there, catching fish, swimming and playing on the sandy beaches. I also love the miles of open space and star-studded skies of Wyoming. Perhaps we aren’t moving to San Diego, after all.
It’s not quite July, but I’m already feeling patriotic. Poet Henry Van Dyke’s words (with my own, western twist) ring through my mind:
It’s home again, and home again, Wyoming for me!
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be,
In the land of youth and freedom, beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars!