Why?

Nothing stumps Midwesterners of all ages more than when a person who has lived in different areas of the US says she prefers the Midwest.

“But why??” they keep asking. “Why?”

29 thoughts on “Why?”

  1. “Nothing stumps Midwesterners ”

    I remember many, many……. many rounds of “But why did you come to…. Poland?!?” in the early 1990s and often had no good answer beyond “…. it’s interesting?”
    By the time I had more convincing answers people stopped asking (which is actually a big part of the answer I was looking for in the 1990s).

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  2. You aren’t supposed to like the Midwest but I do. Maybe I would not if I spent more time there, but I find it has institutions with deep roots and very nice and honest people, and that it is not boring, but quite creative.

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      1. I’m sitting here waiting it out! But we’re only supposed to receive it as a tropical storm, here. The news is very deceptive if you aren’t in the area because effects vary widely. Here, where it’s apparently only going to brush up to Category 1 at the worst, it will create bad flooding if you’re living in a low-lying suburb, but I live downtown, which is on high and solid ground. I was worried about getting high enough winds to knock out the power and prevent me from working on course websites, but now we’re only supposed to get 40-60 MPH, it being that it can only be called a hurricane if it reaches 75 MPH! However, out in the Gulf, it’s whirling at 150 MPH, and gusting at 175!

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          1. It looks like Michael, which blew us to bits two years ago: power out for weeks, internet and phone service gone for over a month, our house became uninhabitable with mold, sister’s house was destroyed, and my parents had tarps on their roof for a year before they could get it replaced. We had to chainsaw our way into my sister’s neighborhood to get her out. Town is still full of derelict buildings waiting to be demolished.

            We had crews from Lake Charles (about to get hit) here for weeks serving jambalaya out of tents, and chainsawing roads clear. We raided the house an hour ago and loaded up my sister’s car with all the stuff that got us through after Michael: first aid, electrolyte packets, granola, peanut butter, rice, cleaning supplies, wet wipes, coffee, shampoo… her workplace is sending a supply truck tomorrow.

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              1. No, but Mexico Beach is just up the road from us. The eye went west of them, so they got all the storm surge 😦 Our town got the wind damage. You could see the tree damage from space: millions of downed trees. The thing cut a crazy wide swath– the damage was bad all the way up into Marianna, which is not even in a coastal county! Mexico Beach was practically washed away, but the communities of Bayou George, Springfield, Parker, Callaway, Lynn Haven, Panama City, Southport, Youngstown, Fountain, Marianna, Altha, Alford, Allanton, Wewahitchka, Tyndall AFB, and a few others, suffered heavy wind damage. Hardly an intact roof anywhere.

                I’m psyching myself up to check the Louisiana news this morning…

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              2. It’s terrible. That area is SO beautiful. I lost power overnight and so am only now able to start seeing WTH went on — wind is still blowing here and it was slightly wild at night, damage outside looks like small category 1 hurricane but I think it was only a TS

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              3. Glad you weren’t in the middle of all that! Drive-by video out of LC looks like they took a lot of damage, but were spared the worst. They’ll be dug out in a week or so: there are still leaves on the trees. Chemical plant fire looks bad, though.

                I’m concerned that I haven’t seen anything out of Cameron yet. Is it still there?

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              1. Some of the aerial pictures in that vid are Cameron: I’ve seen some helicopter shots. Reports before the storm had 150 people refusing to evacuate. 😦 Stilt houses seem mostly intact (damaged, but not washed away). No pictures on the ground means one of two things, judging by past storms: 1) Nobody has made it in yet, or 2) Official search-and-rescue is in there, and they are not releasing any pictures or allowing photographers until they account for all the residents. They (sensibly) don’t want storm chasers in there photographing corpses (they did this in Mexico Beach).

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              2. clarification: some of that vid is Cameron, but it is clearly spliced in with images of Lake Charles, so it’s impossible to sort out which ones are which.

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              1. Clarissa, from what you’ve said on this blog, you’d melt in the heat and miss the snow anyway 😉 It’s a lovely place to vacation. For myself: the winter weather in IL is terrifying, and I can’t fathom the flooding that happens in the Midwest: how do you evacuate from that??

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              2. There hasn’t been any flooding where I am, though. I’ve been here 11 years and never saw any.

                And actually out heat is much worse than yours. I know Florida heat. It’s not disgusting. It’s not this stale, sticky, unbreathable heat we have here.

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              3. That’s interesting! I’ve never been to the midwest, to be able to compare. Lived in New England for several years, though, and I’ve experienced enough snow for a whole lifetime. Never need to do it again…

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    1. “I wonder what people think of, exactly, when they think of the midwest?”

      It’s a very undefined term…. (like “middle class”)

      Despite some problems I like Joel Garreau’s Nine Nations model*

      IINM Clarissa is right on the edge of Dixie and The Breadbasket (and not too far from the Foundry)

      The Breadbasket is described as having the local government and civil society that “works best” (effective with less corruption etc). And it has the worst food… I can definitely confirm from the time I spent in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma… at least when you get down to Texas they had good Barbecue (and TexMex).

      *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nine_Nations_of_North_America

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    2. One of the things they think of is bad food. I had a job interview once at the University of Indiana-Bloomington, sophisticated people, took me to a new restaurant they were excited about, and there was a fortune cookie decorating my alleged stir fry. This was a while ago and things have gotten more sophisticated, but there’s that.

      Snow and cornfields as far as the eye can see, desolation, is another association.

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      1. I wish there were more snow but endless cornfields under a deep blue sky – that’s very Ukrainian. Makes me feel like home but with good roads and without tons of garbage everywhere.

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        1. Well, you know, Illinois is full of Ukrainians and Poles, there may be a reason. Parts of Ohio are supposed to look just like the Rhineland, and are predictably full of Germans…

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            1. Ukraine actually looks quite beautiful, in some parts. I should visit, I’ve discovered that these parts of central and eastern Europe that were hard to get into for travel at one time are like the Europe I remember from when I was in elementary school or so – quieter and less built up

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