Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Missouri vs. Washington

Or, Why I Will Always Be a Midwestern Girl

I am fiercely loyal. If I believe in or support something or someone, I will fight for it tooth and nail. Case in point: I am still a Royals fan, despite the fact that none of the students I've taught over the past 3 years were even alive when they won the World Series in 1985.

This--and the fact that I am incredibly biased toward the place that I was born and grew up in--is why I continue to favor Missouri and the Midwest in general. Okay, so I've officially lived in Washington for less than two months, and therefore really can't make such a rash judgment, but here it is anyway.

I'm just coming off a wonderful week and a half trip home, which, of course, colors my opinion slightly. How could I not love the place where the majority of my family and friends are? The place that is home to the best BBQ in the world, the Plaza Lights, and Harry S. Truman? Need I even mention the Nebraska Cornhuskers?!?

Believe it or not, I really do like it here, even if I am little passionate about home. So what if I don't have any friends--yet--and it rains all the time? (It really doesn't rain all the time--I just like to tease Jon because he's a little sensitive about it.) In fact, the whole purpose of writing this is to point out just how beautiful the Northwest is. Yet, again, I'm incredibly loyal, so I have to make sure that I mention the Midwest and how much I love it.

But back to Washington. "Christmas in the Northwest is a gift God wrapped in green." Even though this ridiculously cheesy line from an honest-to-goodness song makes me snicker every time I hear it, I have to admit that it's true. And not just at Christmas. I've managed to take in some amazing views...on the few days it's not raining, of course. I think, though, rather than talk about it, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

On my flight to Kansas City, I was fortunate enough to look out the window at exactly the right time to catch Mount Rainier billowing above the clouds at sunrise.

This trail is only about 200 feet from our condo. Sort of Robert Frost-esque, eh?

This glimpse of Puget Sound can also be found in DuPont, approximately 2 miles away.

As it sometimes happens (and what I try to tell my students even though they don't believe me), I hadn't realized my purpose in writing until now. Even better, it's twofold. First of all, I more fully understand why teachers often ask students to write about place--most people have very strong ties to a certain location, which evokes a lot of feeling and personal expression. This post is case in point. And secondly, hopefully these words--but more likely the pictures--encourage you all to come and visit. Just bring your umbrella...

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