Awhile back I said that it is a personal goal of mine to see a piece of every state before I die. I'm afraid that, in order to achieve this dream, I might have to strike it rich or wait until I'm 80 and see a whole darn lot of 'em at once. Otherwise I'll have to plan a vacation every summer to a different state, but that would not be cost effective, exactly. So out of the 50, these are the 18 that I've been to:
I've seen a great deal of some and just a slice of others but they have all have left their mark on me. I'm sure that some impressions are a result of where I was in my life, what I was seeing, and what color the lens was that I was looking through. As an English student in college, I fell into a deep love with the American Writers who wrote about the country with such a raw depth that my heart was practically dripping with the blood of their words. I don't love this country because of its politics or its progressive thinking. I truly love this country because of its purple mountains majesty and its amber waves of grain. I love it for the way Cather describes Nebraska in "My Antonia" or the way I want nothing more than to float down the Mississippi in a chapter of Twain's "Huckleberry Finn." And though I wasn't ready for Steinbeck's "Travels With Charley" when I was first introduced to it, I identified with his description of California and saw it, for the first time, through the eyes of a man who died over a decade before I was even born. I love that the coast looks so different in San Diego than it does in northern Oregon. I love that there is desert and mountains and snow in Colorado and trade winds in Hawaii and moose and deer and alligators and waterfalls.
Periodically, as in, whenever nothing particularly funny or poignant or news worthy occurs in my life, I will discuss the states that I have been to, and the impressions they've given me. Who knows, maybe sometimes whatever I say will persuade you to visit the state (i.e. Wyoming) or move to the state (i.e. California) or avoid the state altogether (i.e. Kansas). And no offense meant to people who love Kansas and call it their home but I'd like to turn it into a giant, square, man made lake with house boating and water skiing in the summer and ice skating, ice fishing and ice hockey in the winter. But then, I only spent time in an itty bitty town in south eastern Kansas where the highlight of my stay was Sonic and people offered me fried chicken gizzards when I had a touch of the flu. This isn't the post on Kansas. That, in time, will come and I will give you a full rundown on the flying buttresses and the wretched Mexican food. Are you waiting with bated breath?