Saturday, October 29, 2016

the flatlands

Last weekend I visited family in Colorado and Kansas. My grandmother celebrated a major birthday recently and my cousins, aunt and I agreed it was time for a road trip. Interstate 70 takes you directly from the Denver area into western Kansas, and it was a pleasant drive both directions: unusually warm fall days, calm winds, and the company of family.
I forget each time how beautiful the landscape is, so flat and broad, the sky an enormous blue bowl overhead. At home we see snippets of sky, framed by evergreens or reflected in the coastal sea. In western Kansas, the sky fills your vision, edged with crispy sunflower fields, bristly rolls of hay, furrowed dirt roads, the occasional sparkling pond.
My Kansas aunt cooked up two days' worth of goodies, including coleslaw and pumpkin pie. We wandered downtown, sat in the shade with Gram and my cousin's pet dog, played marbles and talked sports and laughed and reminisced about the ones we've lost. My shrink keeps telling me I'm lonely and I keep saying that I'm not, but I will say that this weekend, I felt like I belonged, like people were looking out for me, and that felt pretty great.

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