I had a goal one winter of not being cold.  Not to the bone at least.  I wanted to be at least borderline comfortable, like my hands wouldn’t typically feel like ice  – this abruptly changed when I had kids, because when you have to strap 2 kids into their 5 point seat belt harness in the Walmart parking lot, you get cold.

I love Nebraska.  I really do.  Omaha has the coolest people on the planet, bar none.  But it’s that time of year again where all memories of mid-summer fun at the pool or at the CWS feels like another lifetime ago.  And we all begin to wonder what we’re doing here.  I’m positive that the only times of year I really start nagging Brandon for a move to Tahiti is about… now.  And I know I’m not alone.  Maybe on Tahiti move… not sure.  So I thought, for all of our sake, for our sanity, in an effort to fight off SAD (something only midwesterners really know about) it’s time to highlight the top 5 reasons the Midwest rocks.

  1. We handle the cold like a BOSS.  We actually kind of make fun of people that can’t handle it.  I went to college in Texas and I recall having snow days that were really pathetic.  Me, and the handful of other Nebraskans were the only people on the rainy street.  But I’ll be honest.  We are lost in the heat.  I remember in Elementary school getting popsicles because they were trying to make us more comfortable.  Poor little Nebraska kids, it’s really hot.  But did we get special treatment when it snowed?  Heck no.  Get here, get your boots and snow pants off, and get to work.  You know that scene in Elf when he totally hammers the bullies with snowballs…cakewalk.  It was actually filmed in Mahoney State Park (not really).  That’s how it goes down on the playground around here.  The first time it warms up a bit, other regions might make a joke about there being a heatwave at 33 degrees, and while they are laughing, we’re like, “what’s the joke?”  Because we’re shedding our coats.  And only in the midwest can you be driving through an intersection rubbing your hands together under your mittens, look out the window and see a guy wearing shorts trudging through the snow near the crosswalk.  No bigee.  It’s just snow.  It’s just frostbite.
  2. The midwest breeds tough. Yes, it’s cold, but that’s not why.  Yes, we work hard.  Really hard — but that’s not why either.  It’s because every parent in the entire region enrolls their 2 year old in wrestling.  Every.  Single.  One.  My husband’s childhood friend invited us to come out to watch his kindergartner wrestle in state (for Iowa).  Just an FYI, Iowans are a completely different genre of crazy tough.  In my head I visualized bringing my family into a high school gymnasium where we parked in a row of bleachers and cheered for a couple of hours.  Well, there were bleachers — a whole stadium full. We walked in this gargantuan room and quickly observed that these adorable wrestlers were probably a year away from getting invited to the olympics.  There were 945 kindergartners and first graders competing that day.  That day.  My sweet buddy, Cain placed 2nd.  I’m basically certain that Nebraska is the same way, but based on that one day; if I were in a dark alley walking into a gang of vicious criminals and I got to choose one weapon of defense — it would be an Iowa wrestler, or a Brazilian, but we’re not venturing internationally here.  (FYI — my husband is from Iowa, so I’m basically covered in all dark alley situations till death do us part).
  3. The midwest is full of brilliant people.  Entrepreneurs thrive here.  Big stuff is happening.  And we’re pretty quick to fill our guests in on this truth because we have all been asked at some point (probably more than once) what exactly we do around here.  You guys, Warren Buffett lives here.  I’m not sure what else to say about that, but it just felt like it needed to be said.  I went to a group connection event at our church once and I’m positive that everyone I talked to had either invented something, owned a company, or was running a company.  Not even exaggerating.  So, yeah, my church rocks too.
  4. We get to own beautiful winter clothes.  Sweaters, hats, scarves, and all things Floridans and Californian’s never get to.  Poor Hawaiians.  I bet you never get to wear Ugg boots.  I once had GAP try to find a sweater for my boy’s to match in (because I’m that Mom), and they couldn’t find it anywhere – sold out.  Except wait – after multiple phone calls they were able to locate both sizes I needed… in Florida.  Go figure.  Poor Florida.  A friend of mine once complained that in their recent move she was grieving that her winter wardrobe (which rocked) was going to go untouched for a couple of years.  Ohhh, I’m so sorry for you.  Give them to me, I will wear the heck out of them.  Togs — thank you for keeping us fashionable around here.  Just thank you.  I’ll send you to Tahiti someday.  If I ever have enough money after spending it all in your store.
  5. One word.  Runza.  If you don’t know what this is, I’m sorry.   I’m just really sorry.  Because they are good.  Honestly though, I typically don’t even eat the Runza’s when we go because I think their burgers are the best in the midwest.  And that’s saying something because we know our beef around here (and our corn).  And when they give you the meal for the price of the temperature that day — you can feed a family of 6 for under a dollar on some of our coldest days.  If you can get there.  Back to beef (which probably should have been the main point) you CANNOT go anywhere else in the world (yes, I just went international on this one) and get a steak like you get here.

So Midwestern friends… hang in there.  We’re tough, smart, and beautiful. And like the crop top, this too shall pass.  Now, Omaha peeps, wake up tomorrow… late, and enjoy our snow day with a nice big cup of hot chocolate and a movie.  Floridans will be in school.