That's how Nebraska welcomes you as you cross the state line: Welcome to the Good Life.
I can't say they're far off. It's a pretty good gig they've got going on.
It's like the Ohio of the midwest.
(Except Ohio says it is the midwest. Which I've always thought was odd, ever since I was old enough to loosely evaluate a map of the United States. Obviously, Nebraska is in the middle of the west. Ohio is more in the north of the east. Just my opinion, but then, I can only point to the 'west' when I can see the mountains.)
The boys and I just finished nine days in Nebraska, where we met up with some of our favorite people: my soul sister and the boys' two buddies. Jen, Reece, and Mason.
The four boys attended Vacation Bible School together while the moms sat in child-free goodness in a small town coffee shop and strolled through cozy shops. We spent the afternoons at the water park, the evenings eating snow cones, and the in-betweens applying more sunscreen. They waved, cheered, and caught candy at a small town parade.
They visited a half-dozen parks and playgrounds in town, and they had their first encounter with feeding ducks.
The minivan was crowded with carseats, and it spilled with catchy (repetitive) songs, theological questions from young thinkers, juice boxes, and french fries. My children got an education on lightning bugs, Nebraska hot dogs, cornfields, irrigation pipes, bug spray, and tractors.
Jen and I spent nine days talking, which we typically do via text. (Don't let anyone say communication is lost in this age of technology. Although I concede: face to face wins every time.)
I watched a sunset fall below the horizon. The whole ball and its pink afterglow.
(How have I never done this before?)
And might I just say: there is immeasurable victory in a single mom taking two little boys on a 9-day road trip (right on the heels of an 11-day airline adventure).
I love cornfields. And I love the sound of four little boys singing How Great Thou Art.
A road trip for this party of three. We did it.