Lately Chris has been has been blogging about the Top Ten Things That Leave Me (him) Slackjawed. He has lots of scenic and wonderful pictures to back him up. But I would argue that he lives in a part of the world where one is likely to spend a lot of time in that slack-jawed state. I, on the other hand, live in Kansas -- not a state where one spends a lot of time being slack-jawed. Or so you would think. But, to paraphrase the apostle Paul, I have learned to be content in whatever state I'm in. So here's some of the reasons I like Kansas (in no particular order):
1) Friendly people. I'm not alone in thinking this. Everyone I know who visits us comments on how nice everyone is to them. I think it's the reason people come here for various reasons and never leave. No matter what you think of our legislature or our board of education, the actual people here are nice and generally accepting of individual differences.
2) Room to breathe. Maybe part of why everyone is nice is because there's plenty of room for everyone. There's a little more than 2 million people in the whole state. Kansas is a big state. That translates into lots of empty space. When you drive the two-lane highways, you'll go miles between towns. When I go to visit family in Illinois, it feels more crowded.
3) Lots of sky. When you live where there's a lot of open space, you start to appreciate the sky.
4) The Flint Hills. Kansas is a remarkably diverse geographical area. One of the most beautiful parts of that geography is the Flint Hills region, in the eastern half of the state. It's defined by rolling hills covered in prairie grasses. If you want to know more about the Flint Hills, check out the Konza Prairie Web site.
5) Embracing eccentricity. I think Plains living must have held an attraction to people of, shall we say, an independent temperment. How else to explain the Garden of Eden, in Lucas, or Cawker City's giant ball of twine. All I can say is, you work with what you've got.
I think this is enough to start with, but I'll add to my list another time.