I’m a Kansas girl, born and raised. So it seemed especially appropriate that I read a few Kansas-based novels for my trip “home” to hang out with my parents this past week. Plus I just discovered a new author I wanted to share with you!
First I read “The Chaperone” by Laura Moriarty and loved it! So I went ahead and checked out The Center of Everything, Laura’s first novel, about growing up in Kansas in the 1980s. Loved this one too!
Everything about these books reminds me of my upbringing in a small town in Kansas. I grew up in university towns because my dad was a professor. Fond memories of roller skating or riding our bikes around the campus, while collecting pop bottles to turn in for 2 cents each.
I know it sounds so cliche, but times really were simpler back then. We had just gotten TV and there were no annoying electronics to come between us all. Kids played outside all summer, barely getting home in time for dusk. But we got home early if we were making homemade ice cream!
Eating it again this week brought back so many positive memories from my childhood. It’s simple dairy goodness, then brought back more memories of how sweet the home grown tomatoes and corn on the cob could be in Kansas in August, fresh off the fields!
Taste and smell are tremendous memory cues reminding me of a time when I did not worry about the past or the future, but chose to live in the now, the world right in front of my eyes.
I do not remember worrying about much when I was a kid in Kansas, although I know I probably did. I just remember the hot, humid, non-air conditioned summers and the lovely freedom of youth.