I may have been raised in Ohio and educated in Florida, but I'm a western plains girl at heart. Get me out under the big sky, and I feel free and inspired. Set me down in the tiny town of Palco, KS, and I feel at home. Just call me a sunflower!
Last night driving on a twisty, windy, narrow Ohio hills road was so frustratingly slow -- and dangerous -- after the straight open roads of the plains. Also I kept driving in and out of rain, but I couldn't see the storm's approach like I could out in the west.
My mom and I traveled the last 8 days in the Great Plains state of Kansas, stopping in Lindsborg, Newton, Hays, Palco, and Bogue. We saw lots and lots of family -- even a few we didn't expect to run into. It was great!
Every time I drive west across the Mississippi, I think about what the settlers in wagon trains must have been thinking as they painstakingly took the trip to a new home. I wonder how they decided on a place to set down their roots and how they managed to weather through those first rough years.
I guess it is easy to see why I do enjoy a well researched story set during the age of westward expansion.
I took plenty of pictures that inspired me with story ideas like old homesteads where a lot of living once occurred. But this old photo I discovered at the family reunion really inspired me. This man, raised in a sod house, was married in the early 1800s. His wife died in childbirth. He went on to remarry and have 5 more children and survive the Dust Bowl with his farm intact, but his first son was raised by the grandparents.
Do you have a place you visit that inspires you with multiple story ideas? I hope yours is less than 1000 miles from home.