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Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

A Heart's Journey Home

Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009, at 10:58 AM

I've been away from McCook for 13 years and I want to come back! My zip code is in Denver now, but I have such a longing in my heart to return to my home--McCook, Nebraska, 69001.

After having lived in the big city, I can wholeheartedly say that I'm glad for my small town upbringing. Being born and raised in a small town has instilled in me values that I don't see on a daily basis where I live now. I feel like I have an appreciation for life, or at least the simple things in life, that some individuals I meet have never known nor may never know. Like the highways I travel on a daily basis, life is fast paced and always on the go!

I used to think that living in a big city is where it's all at, but my point-of-view has changed over the last several years. While I like the conveniences and amenities that a city such as Denver has to offer--stores that never close, access to all kinds of entertainment, a Walgreen's or Wendy's on nearly every street corner, and oh, did I mention the Rocky Mountains in front of me every day--I find it to be lacking in other areas. Perhaps for me those areas are of the heart. The big city is great for people-watching and intellectual stimulation; however, I've found that trying to keep up with the socioeconomic status of the Jones' isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Please don't get me wrong! Denver really is a great little big city, and people are generally friendly when you meet them face to face. Of course, I've learned that some drivers out here use a completely different one-finger wave when they pass you on a busy highway. If I have to explain what I mean by that, then please make sure you keep up with the flow of traffic while driving on the Colorado highways. Unfortunately, there isn't such a thing as a leisurely drive through the big city, and cordial "greetings" on the highway are few and far between. Also, a big no no in Colorado?! Showing your Husker pride on college game day, especially in Boulder. Who knew!?

When I first met my husband, a native Texan, he balked at the fact that I came from Nebraska. "What's in Nebraska besides corn and cows?" he said. Unfortunately, that is the general question I get when I tell someone where I'm from. That is, after they've stopped laughing hysterically and have had the chance to say, "I'm sorry you're from the middle of nowhere!" Even better, if I want to tell them I'm from McCook, I practically have to drag a map out to show them where it is. I've learned that unless one is from or has relatives in Nebraska, to outsiders there are pretty much only two cities in the land of the Big Red--Lincoln and Omaha. Oh what people miss out on! I love that Nebraska is often referred to as the Heartland. And, I like to think of McCook as a little piece of heaven right smack dab in the southwestern corner of it.

Back to my husband, the corn-and-cows-commenting-comedian! The first time I brought him to Nebraska five years ago, it was as though I'd seen a changed man. I never have seen such peace on one's face. And, he is more homesick than I am when we leave McCook after a visit with my parents. All of a sudden, the man I love--the one who had such a narrow-minded view of the heartland--has a heart that is longing to live in Nebraska. And, if he had his way, he'd jump at the chance to become a McCookite (even though he really doesn't know what a McCookite is).

We're on a journey! While we go through the daily motions of life in the big city, we continue to listen to the cries of our heart and the longing to live a slower pace of life. For me, having been born and raised in McCook, there is a soul connection that exists, one that I haven't found since I left 13 years ago. For my husband, there is a peace that he has never found in any place he has lived.

So, long story short...we're not sure where our journey will lead but join us as we travel along. Maybe someday you'll see us on the streets of McCook and hear my husband say, "howdy neighbor" (he's a Texan after all). As for me, I will have found my way back home!


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I grew up just across the border in Yuma County. Our family loved fishing but in Colorado trout seemed to be all we could ever catch. My Grandpa got me hooked on fishing Nebraska waters and some of the Lakes around McCook were frequent destinations for week end outings. I ended up settling in the Lincoln area where the fishing opportunities are not as good. Now that I am retired I am looking at property around McCook and hoping to wet my line in some of the area waters again. BTW I don't want to leave the impression that I am a Master Angler. . . just the opposite. I am probably the World's lousiest fisherman, but fishing is ONE activity that you can enjoy no matter how skilled you are.

-- Posted by Big Chief on Wed, Jun 29, 2011, at 10:05 AM

One of the things I like most about living here is that everything in town is with-in a 10 minute drive. I so wanted away from this town as a kid, of course I wanted off the farm too and now I wouldn't mind going back.

Are we all like salmon, and want to back to the place where we started?

I was in Omaha and needed to write a check. The cashier looked at the address and said where is McCook. I explained 60 or so miles south of North Platte. I got a blank look in return.

-- Posted by amystrauch on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 7:23 PM

Well like you I thought living in the big city was where it was at. I grew up in one of the smaller towns outside of McCook, I headed to NYC of all places. Yes, I had a great time, I met my husband had a great life. Well I convienced him that we had to get married In my home church so we came back to get married, well that's all it took he was ready to go back pack up and move. Well we waited for 7 years to do so but after having 2 kids we moved back to the "good life" Well that was 10 years ago and we haven't regretted it one day since. As the song says "who says you can't go home".

-- Posted by eajwmom on Sat, Oct 10, 2009, at 1:51 PM

We wandered all over the west 5 years looking for a place to call home after retiring in the Denver area. A lot of people around here still wonder why we chose to live here, and all I can say is go check out the big city and you will soon see why!

Good luck with your quest. As far as we're concerned, there is no better place to live than southwestern Nebraska!

-- Posted by Brian Hoag on Fri, Oct 9, 2009, at 7:45 AM

Couldn't agree more. I live in the Denver Metro area and miss the pace of life in Mc Cook.

-- Posted by mikeallerton on Thu, Oct 8, 2009, at 10:47 PM

Great blog! I couldn't agree more! I really love McCook and I hope I never have to leave. I grew up here till I was 8. And I moved back after I graduated. There's just something or many somethings and all the people that make this great town what it is! I especially love that for the most part what a conservative town it is. You don't have be afraid or anything to show people what and how you believe because for the most part everyone believes the same. This is a great town and I recommend to anyone looking for a new town to move to, to move to this great town!

-- Posted by april_n_mike on Thu, Oct 8, 2009, at 1:37 PM

i thought that all they had in texas was cows and oil

-- Posted by S&DC on Thu, Oct 8, 2009, at 1:00 PM


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Longing for Home
Brianna Davis
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