I am a native of Michigan. I hate being landlocked in Kansas. I hate being so far from the Great Lakes. I hate not having the north woods to wander through. I hate the lack of snow in Kansas. I hate, hate, hate summer days that go well over 100 degrees. (Anything hotter than 90 is truly not natural as far as I'm concerned.)
But over the last twenty something years an odd thing has happened. I have begun to love my adopted state. First it was grudging. (Oh yeah, those Flint Hills are kinda pretty.) Now, it has become full fledged adoration. (The wide open sky. The endless theatre of the clouds. The chummy artistic community of Lawrence. Oh, let me count the ways!)
I still love Michigan. I still love the Great Lakes, and it is quite likely that some day I will return. Right now, though, I find that there is much to love in the subtle beauty of the prairie and its cozy small towns.
So, it is with great delight that I take note of two interesting Kansonian happenings.
Mousie Cat over at Evolving in Kansas has a very cool list of what's right and what's wrong about Kansas. I do agree with much of the list, including the fact that it's such a delight that the Creation Museum is NOT in Kansas. However, I take umbrage at Mousie listing The Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kan., as one of the bad things about the state.
The Garden of Eden is truly cool. Well, it is also weird, as in very, very weird. While I would not have wanted to be either the wife or the children of its creator Samuel P. Dinsmoor, the sculpture garden is a worthy and fascinating work of folk art. Much of it also has a populist bent and provides interesting perspective on the history of Kansas politics.
Also of note, is the Kansas Sampler Foundation's contest to pick (drum roll please) the Eight Wonders of Kansas. The 24 finalists have been chosen, and you can go to a web site and vote for your favorites. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will announce the winners on Kansas Day, Jan. 29, next year.
PHOTO: This is a small slice of Kevin Sink's gorgeous portrait of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, which along with the Flint Hills is one of the Kansas features nominated to be named one of the eight wonders of the state. Personally, it's one of my favorites. Visit the link to get the full impact of Sink's magnificent photos.