Monday, July 03, 2006

How my friend and I "discovered" the real Midwest

We Pacific Northwesterners are curious folk. I remember my high school class scattered all over the country after graduation for adventures in vocation and education. My friend Boaps and I were the only ones out of our class (minus a guy who took off for Northwestern in Illinois) to explore and brave the area of the country known as "The Midwest". Though no one thought we were idiots for going to the Midwest--Boaps to Grand Forks, North Dakota and I to Lawrence, Kansas, people thought this area of the country to be a great mystery. One of my friends wanted me to send a souvenir when I arrived in Kansas, "something that smelled like wheat."

After living in the Midwest nearly half of my life, I wonder if Boaps and I have learned a damn thing. Sometimes I think I know less about this place than when my father and I crossed the Rocky Mountains in the summer of 1988 on my way to McCollum Hall at the University of Kansas. However in the Midwest, Boaps and I did well in the spousal department, and we have made great friends and received great opportunities. Sometimes however, we have been distinctly out of our cultural element. That's okay, I suppose. God often communicated to the Israelites that they will always be reminded to care for the strangers because they and their ancestors lived their lives as strangers in Egypt for many years. If that kind of life is part of God's story, I suppose I can tolerate being a stranger for awhile.

When do I get to cross the Red Sea?


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