Me and the rat truck, come Saturday morning, will be headed east to visit with friends and family, scoff down as many lobsters, mussels in garlic, fried clams and lobster stew as my digestive system can handle and to get a whiff of that salty ocean air. I am also being hopeful that I can top off that seafood potlatch with some homemade desserts of various aromas and tastes.
Returning to Maine for a 3 week visit will be refreshing, though I will never move back to Maine permanently. I find the laid back, unrestricted governments of “out west”, the wide open spaces and the snow capped mountains just too irresistible to be living in highly regulative mind frame of those in government positions back east.
There are a few drawbacks, though….no fresh seafood, to name one, but then again, plenty of beef and buffalo steaks. The closest big box store is almost 80 miles and the 2 centers of civilization are Rapid City which lays 205 miles west and Sioux Falls which lays east 143 miles east. In-between, the rolling hill country is dotted with small farming/ranching towns, numerous Indian reservations and massive areas of corn, wheat, sunflowers and all those other crops that America takes for granted. I tell people that I miss the trees. Deep forests running back into the hills for miles. I am told that those many trees would make one claustrophobic. I can say I miss the smell of the salt air and the pounding of the surf against crusted granite and I would be told that sitting along the Missouri River, snagging walleye is all the water one needs. I can see both sides of this….
Going home, or to where I grew up is usually bittersweet. My mind holds the reflections of close neighbors and simpler times but the reality is much different. What was once rural has become bedroom communities for countrified city folk, fields where I used to pile hay bales onto farm trucks have either become overgrown and returned to forest, or more than likely, have been subdivided into fancy housing developments and home associations. Both entities leaves a rancid taste in my mouth. Places I used to fish and hunt are now littered with “No Trespassing” signs, nailed into trees by people who left the lower states and brought with them an atmosphere of unfamiliarity and unfriendliness…. for the most part.
Where I spent my youth has forever changed, but the memories never fade. Well, I will find out how much more it has changed within a few days and there will be moments of reflection and sadness but there will be some kick ass partying going down also…Times change but life goes on. We need to live it to the fullest every chance we get, cherish the memories and enjoy life.
By the way, you can help me buy my diesel fuel, Red Bull and cigars by ordering something that is delicious AND healthy…..Tanka Bars…. straight from the Oglala Sioux Nation on Pine Ridge..