Posts Tagged ‘Heartland’

Let’s talk Kansas.  After all, it is the Heartland of America.  And, there are times when I have wondered if we have much of a heart anymore.  But, we have Kansas.


Kansas was named after the Kansas River, which flows through it and which was named after the Kansa Tribe.  No one seems to know the original meaning of the name Kansa, but it is said to mean “people of the wind.”  Now, if that were true, then I think Wyoming would be named Kansas. Kansas just has a breeze compared to Wyoming. However, I have not been everywhere in Kansas.


Mostly, my time in Kansas was spent on I-70.  I would be traveling through from Indiana to California, and all points west, and would like to break up my drive.  I didn’t want all those cows, happily chomping grass on I-70, which I had named (the cows, not the road — okay, so I did name the road too but I don’t use those words here.)  but, I did not want those cows to get jealous of the peacefully grazing cows I had named on I-80 in Nebraska.  I mean, I spent hours and hours traversing Kansas, and Nebraska over a ten year period.


Now, replace each of those cows with hundreds of Bison and get a picture of what it was like pre-1800.  It must have been awesome.


During the 1854 settlement, free-slavers from New England and pro-slavers from Missouri rushed to take the state. It became Bleeding Kansas, until the abolitionists prevailed.  In 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state.


I have to say that the people of Kansas have always been friendly, helpful and polite to me, during my travels.  And, while I am sure that Missouri also has nice people, I have broken down more than five times in Missouri. That being but one of the reasons I’m glad the abolitionists won.


I have decided there is some weird electrical vibe under the ground of Missouri, causing me to break down. Well, my car actually, not me.  Although, by the fifth time I entered the state and my car broke down, I had a bit of a fit too.  Then, there was the time I sat numerous grand-children and daughters down to eat at a large restaurant in Missouri, to be served boiling hot mugs of water (not smart to set in front of a one year old, people) and packets of hot cocoa mix, (not cool in a restaurant bigger than – NO, I take that back, it’s not cool in any restaurant, it was reinforced in my brain that the people of Missouri may be a cocoa packet short of a full box.  And, that is not to judge a whole state of people on just five breakdowns and one restaurant, so please do not spam me with your ire.  Just treat me better the next time I’m in town.


But, back to Kansas; it is the friendly state where I have eaten many a great meal. And, why not?  They are one of the most productive agricultural states after all and we should all thank them for that.  It has also been proven now that Kansas is NOT “flatter than a pancake.”  I have to trust science here but it is a very gradual slope upward from the east to west.


And, once, on my journey from West to east, late at night and with two parents sound asleep in the car, I saw a great 4th of July fireworks show in Kansas City, where I used to stop regularly to eat at a great restaurant that I can no longer remember the name of.


So, why, you ask, this tribute to Kansas?  And, it has only taken a full page to get to the reason, so shoot me.  Aren’t you glad to know all that about the most productive state that provides your food? 



You all know my love of my ClustrMap.  Well, Kansas was the first place I had a larger circle indicating that it could be 1 to 10 readers in that dot.  Not just all the scattered ones I had watched popping up.  And, Kansas has hit a second milestone for me.  It is the first dot to say it has “100-999” views.  And, I want to thank Kansas for that honor.


I will do my best to keep you happy and entertained.  I just have one request.  Could a few of you lurkers, drop a kind word, or even a not-so-kind word once in a while?  It can get a little lonely, sitting her with irritating little Chihuahua.

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