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Words to guide, inspire and entertain
Monday, June 23, 2014
When my husband and I were young, we were unemployed for more than a year. We also still could sleep on the ground, drive all day, eat anything… ah well. This is likely why I ache so much now.
We traveled the country, everywhere but the Deep South, and having survived a very surreal 3-day run through Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois, came into the purple hills of Nebraska. Who knew that the Midwest was hiding that gem in the middle of all that beige? Max was driver and I was map-reader, which gave me the job of finding stopping spots for the night. In Maxwell, Nebraska, there was a horse ranch that advertised a wide, grassy campground and trail rides into Indian burial mounds. It seemed perfect to me, although Max was doubtful of the horses.
The owner’s name was Les Beebe, and he had a thousand acres and four teeth. He was reserved when we met him, since we were Easterners, until Max said ‘my name is Max, and I’m pleased to meet you’, stuck out a hand, which Les grinned and shook, and we were no longer sleazy people from Jersey. He said, ‘you know, I had some other folks from New Jersey here last year. Found ‘em in my cornfield stealing corn. I’d have give it to ‘em if they asked. Corn’s nearly free anyhow. But these poor thieving souls didn’t even know that they was stealing horse corn! You can’t eat that. Now if they had asked I’d have give ‘em sweet corn, and not chased ‘em off. What’s with you Easterners anyhow? They don’t even know enough to stake down a tent. Last folks I got here from the East set up a tent in a field and went walking; tent blew away directly.’
The hills were purple and the fields were green, we were camped in a tent in a herd of camper-trailers, we’d had a hot shower and some dinner, and I was thinking about those fools in the corn, sneaking around. It still makes me giggle.
We had also, incidentally, staked down our tent.