I’m lucky to have more then one place to call home. I’ll always think of South Dakota as home, and then of course wherever we end up living as our own family. I went home about a week and a half ago because my Grandma passed away. She went into the hospital on a Monday and then Friday she passed away. My Mom, one Uncle, a cousin and his family, an old family friend and others were with her. She went quickly, with no pain, and in a way that had many people saying when it is their time, they hope to go like that.
Driving back to Texas was hard because I always call her and say okay we are in this town or we are this far or we are home now. Then she would tell the rest of my family. When we got home I text messaged at least eight people – Mom, a couple of uncles, a couple of cousins, and a friend. Just one small thing that is different in my life now.
Driving across the Plains calms me. We left on a Friday in the early afternoon but didn’t get out of Texas until Saturday morning. It sounds funny to some people but going through Kansas and Nebraska goes quickly. Kansas is flat and there are small towns often and even gas stations in the middle of nowhere. Nebraska is slightly hilly, with sandhills leading way to a forest.
It’s once I get into Nebraska that the calm starts. Hard to describe, it’s a feeling that you have to experience. Maybe it happens when you drive to the ocean or the mountains, and I wonder if it will happen the next time to go to South Dakota with my Grandma now gone.
The air smells different there, the rain brings out another smell, even water on dirt, concrete or grass can create that smell – like watering your grass or when a firetruck lays water down on dirt so the rain doesn’t toss so much of it up, and South Dakota has strong wind so it helps. The air smells different and driving home to Texas earlier this week I drove most of the way with the window down, wind blowing into the car and all the scents of the Plains with it.