Rural/Urban Daydreaming

I’d like to get away from Nebraska for a few days, starting today. The urge has been bubbling below the surface for a couple of months, but erupted to the surface this morning. You might say this is an advanced case of cabin fever.

It’s not that I don’t go outdoors. I go for walks, mow the yard, sit on the front steps, and sometimes just look at the sky. Today’s problem is that I’ve overdosed on rural life. I need a dose of L.A., San Francisco, New York City, heck, even Chicago will do.

The urge for somewhere urban popped up while sitting on the front step waiting for Orange the cat to arrive for his early morning treats. It’s been a pleasant morning, no severe weather, not overly hot nor humid–just nice. The urge to be in a large crowd of people just came on, out of nowhere at around 3:30 AM. Orange failed to show up, so I reluctantly returned indoors to the music room to work on today’s blog post. I had a different topic planned for today, but suddenly that seemed like a dud. So, I decided to go with the flow and continue reminiscing.

I’ve lived out in the sticks for much of my life. Although I’ve never resided on a farm, both sides of my family have strong farming backgrounds. I spent several weeks out of a few summers of my boyhood on my maternal grandparents farm near Tilden, Nebraska. I was spared the heavy lifting that my grandparents and uncle had to do every day. Observing them was all I was allowed to do, and that was OK. The boyhood memories of that small farm are pleasant.
The smallest town I’ve ever lived in was Wakefield. The population has hovered around a thousand or so Nebraskans for several decades. Memories of that town are dim, because the family moved from there before my fourth birthday.

Much of my boyhood was lived in Wayne, Nebraska, where the major “industry” is Wayne State College–at that time it was mostly a teachers’ college. The town, itself, is esthetically pleasing but dull. 

Later during my childhood, dad was transfered to Lincoln to work in the State Capitol building to help design and build the stretch of Interstate Highway 80 within Nebraska’s jurisdiction. I loved living in the capital city.

I’ve lived in larger towns than Lincoln. Perhaps the largest was San Jose, California. I greatly enjoyed living in Silicon Valley before the Bay Area became famous for its technology. My job at Hewlett Packard clued me in to the looming future ahead for Palo Alto and Mountain View. One of the amusing aspects of Mountain View, were the numbers of former Nebraskans who lived there at the time.

The Bay Area wasn’t an ideal fit because I couldn’t find long term employment in media. So, after several years, I returned to Northeast Nebraska for work in my field and other practical considerations.

It’s fun to daydream about my past vacations to large cities. I’ve seen London twice. Its metro area is nearly 12-million folks. The city I’ve seen with the greatest population numbers is the Mumbai, India metro area with its nearly 21-million inhabitants. I love both cities, but I cannot envision living in either place–too busy, and too expensive.

The largest North American cities I’ve visited are Mexico City, New York, and Toronto. All three are fascinating places and rank among my favorite spots on Earth. I ponder them as possible destinations for 2021. They all have their merits as great places to visit but they’re personally unsuitable as hometowns.

The travel itch usually happens when I take the fresh air and wholesomeness of small-town Nebraska life for granted. Some culture shock is a good cure for this. After returning by air to Omaha from my last trip to Toronto, the drive from Omaha’s Eppley Airport to Norfolk, Nebraska was a wake-up call. The absence of heavy highway traffic here is a real blessing. I kept a window partially open during the drive to let in the clean air.

I’ll probably continue to daydream about some of my favorite cities today. However, all things considered, I’m grateful to have a little place to live in my small city, out here in the sticks. I’ll take a walk on the neighborhood path later today and ponder this subject a little longer. Thanks for reading this aimless, meandering post today. Maybe you relate to some of it.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor, singer/songwriter, Justin Timberlake. “What makes most people comfortable is some sort of sense of nostalgia. I grew up in a small town, and I could count my friends on one hand, and I still live that way. I think I’ll die in a small town. When I can’t move my bones around a stage any more, you’ll find me living in a place that’s spread out and rural and spacious.”  

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, cultural highlights, Hometown, Meanderings, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Rural/Urban Daydreaming

  1. Yernasia Quorelios says:

    💜 As a Writer I Can Assure EveryOne that Waking in The Wee Hours of The Morning to Communicate with Others is NOT!!! Unusual; in fact it’s Quite Common and Healthy if NOT!!! Working a ‘Day Job’, The Classic ‘MidNight Call’


  2. rkrontheroad says:

    Enjoyed this ramble. I’ve lived in (mostly big) cities most of my life, but have settled in a small mountain community and it’s become home. I need a city fix now and then, though, and can relate to needing one right now! The energy and culture of cities in the states and abroad are always a draw that feeds my imagination.

  3. chrisadella says:

    I haven’t visited many cities, but I must suggest Memphis! It may not be a city you would first consider, but I had a great time there with some friends! I’ve also be yearning for some city life.

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