Friday, October 09, 2009

Panorama

Different people, I believe, are touched and comforted by different panoramas. Have a space down deep in their soul where calm and peace are available, based on what the eye can see, and what is soothing to their psyche.

Some people enjoy an ocean view ..... some people love snow-capped mountains. For others, a city scape is what makes them happy.

Me? It's farmland. I LOVE the rolling pastures; miles and miles and miles of wheat and hay bales and hard amber duram, as far as the eye can see. White farmhouses, red barns, grain silos. Throw in some horses, or cows, and I'm even happier. I can BREATHE when I can see for miles; I feel calm; it is soothing to me .... the midwest* makes me happy.

That's why I was so excited for my drive to Ohio yesterday. Eight hundred and sixty five miles of farms and ranches and pumpkin patches and corn fields. Even better is this time of year, with the turning leaves and beautiful red wildflowers (weeds?) on the side of the highway. I was ECSTATIC to make the drive yesterday and enjoy the bucolic farmland and rolling plains and open-ness. I love that view. Love it so much that in my next life,** I want to come back as a farmer's wife,*** and sit on the porch and drink coffee **** and soak in the beauty.

Guess what? On my drive to Ohio yesterday, I didn't see a single thing. Because it RAINED the entire 865 miles. The entire drive, there was never a moment that my windshield wipers were not on. Sometimes intermittently, for drizzle, and sometimes for a steady rain. And for about four hours of white-knuckle, torrential blinding downpour. I could barely see to stay in the highway, let alone enjoy the beautiful fall view out the window. And the bad weather, and slower driving speeds, stretched the drive out to almost fifteen hours. Fifteen hours of rain.

Quite frankly, I felt cheated.

I guess the good part of the day was the fact it was still fifteen hours of listening to the music **I** wanted to listen to (guilty pleasures -- Meatloaf, Bowling for Soup, Caroline's Spine ....) and only stopping according to my own potty break needs, and not listening to anyone whine for snacks, or argue in the backseat.

So yeah, despite the rain, it was still a good drive.

But I *am* hoping for sunny weather on the way back home. I have some corn fields and horse pastures to gaze over.

*Why is it called the mid-west? Does anyone know? Oklahoma is not "west" of half the country, why is it not called mid-mid? And Indiana and Illinois and Missouri and Ohio are less "west" than that. Is it because it is west of the Mississippi River? Because before the western part of the country was settled, and before California actually became a state, we were west at the time? Can anyone answer? Because honestly, these are the questions that keep me up at night.

**For the record, I don't really believe in a next life. But if I DID, I would want to come back as a farmer's wife.

***You know what? Scratch that. Wouldn't I have to work really hard as a farmer's wife? Churning butter, and tilling vegetables, and washing our clothes out in the stream? That's way too much work. I think I've decided that in my next life I would rather come back as a very wealthy person, and I could just BUY farmland and pay incredibly good looking men to work shirtless, churning my butter for me.

****I don't actually drink coffee. But if I had enough good looking shirtless men working for me, I could sit on the porch and drink me an eyeful of THAT.

20 comments:

Alice said...

Can I come live on that farm with you? :)

Cate said...

For me, it's snow covered mountains. I think mid-west is relative. I've heard people here in Oregon refer to Colorado as "Back East." Uh, this Georgia native goes, "Huh?!"

Anonymous said...

Pssshhh I live in OH and I despise it! Cold and wet 1/2 the year :( I hope you enjoy your visit though! How far north are you? I live in a suburb of Cleveland, right near the lake.

Patti B.

Tracy said...

It's called the Midwest because it's "Midway to the west" (same with the Mideast.) I agree, I love the farm landscapes. I keep thinking I want Pioneer Woman's life, but then she'll post something about getting up at 4 a.m. in February to break the ice so the cattle have something to drink, and then I'm more content with my plain old suburban lifestyle. Still, the dream lives on!

Leesa said...

hmmm I think you have your centuries confused... I am a "farmers wife" and you might be surprised to find that we have lectricity, and runnin water and an indoor toilurt... and I buy mys butter frm the general stor :)

RSMDianne said...

800 miles? 15 hours of driving? Oh my gosh, that would be my absolute idea of hell...Anything over 3-4 hours of driving? Get me to the nearest airport. But have a wonderful time on your weekend away :-) Hope the weather clears up for you on your drive back, too.

Ann from St. Peter MN said...

You feel cheated because you didn't get to see the fall colors and such? I am in Minnesota, and after a solid week of rain, the sun is finally shining. Today is a glorious autumn day - just like in the movies. But guess what? It is going to snow tonight and tomorrow. End of autumn. Now that is getting cheated!

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

I hope your drive home is sunny and full of fall colors! :) I too love lots of farmland which is one of my favorite parts of living in Northern Virginia. But I also love me a good ocean view!

katy said...

I am in Ohio and the rain is still coming down...and coming down and ...well you get the picture.

Anonymous said...

Well, for all the boring things about Ohio, there are lots of pretty things to see! If you make it up/down to Mansfield, drop me a note and I'll meet ya ;) Enjoy your weekend with friends and hopefully the drive back will be prettier!
Tammy still in OH

Sandy P said...

I always think the same thing when I am around farm land. But, I also love the beach.

Brittany..Following my Bliss said...

I live in Ohio and the saying is "if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes because it will change again".... so even though they forcasted rain all weekend, we're having beautiful blue skies here in Northeast Ohio today! Hope your visit is enjoyable!

Anonymous said...

We have driven 'home' to Oklahoma from many places! From Wichita Falls where you really simply cross the river and look around and you are beginning to see miles and miles within a few minutes. From Arizona you enter Oklahoma on I40 and see western Oklahoma which is a little barren but the same flat, beautiful ground! And coming from GA on I40..we enter the state from the beautiful rolling hills of Arkansas and slowly enter the flat plains of Oklahoma that we love so much! I don't care how tired I am when we arrive at 'home'...seeing those wheat fields (or alfalfa or whatever) for miles upon miles....OH...it makes me homesick now! I love the beauty of farm land!! I miss it so much here in GA as all we see when we drive is trees...trees and more trees. Trees are beautiful...on hills...on mountains...from an airplane. But they do nothing to help you pass the drive when all you see is tree after tree after tree!! Hope your drive home gives you lots of those beautiful views!
Patricia, Garden City, GA

Natalie said...

Fall is THE season that I miss in Ohio! If it's nice, that is. But if it's cold and rainy, forget it. Still, I envy your solo car journey--I love them!

Anonymous said...

It's funny because what I was going to say about Indiana, Brittany already said about Ohio.....that "if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes because it will change again." It really is true.

Having lived in the Midwest all my life, my understanding of the term is that it was given that designation before the western states were settled and at that the time it was an appropriate term. Dunno. That's the best explanation I've heard, though.

Just don't ask me where the term "Hoosiers" came from because honestly, no one knows. Several theories on that one. However, I don't even care, as long as I get to breathe in the autumn air and be amazed every October when the maple trees turn blazing yellow, orange and red. It's a sight to behold. And unfortunately, short of PhotoShop or whatever other amazing tool you use, there is absolutely no way to capture the magnificance on camera. I take that back......*I* can't capture it on *my* camera. Just like trying to capture the Smokey Mountains or an amazing rainbow. A photo just doesn't do it justice.

I certainly hope your ride home brings a better experience for you! Unfortunately you're not going to enjoy the prime of the autumn hues, which is typically in mid- to late-October.

Claire in Indiana

DeborahB said...

WHAT??!?! You're in Ohio and you didn't tell me? Where are you, what are you doing, when are you going back, can we visit??

Anonymous said...

Good thing you're not driving though our "mid-west" we just got 17" of snow here in mid-west Nebraska!

Boni

Cathy said...

I can't believe you drove that far alone? Wow! I would be nervous to go that far alone! I hope the drive home is without rain. Have fun.

Anonymous said...

I hope your drive back was or is better than when you came..I don't know what part you were going to but the part of ohio I live in ended up being a nice weekend! Hope yours was as well..You deserve it!

Random said...

I love our (Alberta's) majestic mountainscapes and our wild prairie land. I guess the prairies to me are much like your farmland... there's not much out there to beat the way an overwhelming sky can make you feel when you're alone and small. I miss it now that I'm in Pennsylvania; the land here just doesn't have enough character (not that I'm objecting to this state! no! certainly not!).