Another fall semester is starting to wind down, and the colors of fall are setting in everywhere. While I truly love fall and the beauty it brings to our campus here at Kansas State University, it makes me miss home. Back home in the good life of Nebraska, there are a few things I terribly miss while I’m down in Kansas. For starters, the pumpkin patch. Britt’s patch on the outside of Manhattan is so cute, now just imagine it 20 times larger and that’s what Vala’s is like. Secondly, harvest. Yes, I know, it sounds crazy to miss such a hectic time that usually just brings annoying allergies to the normal person, but I’ll explain more later. And Finally, I miss all my animals. It’s a lot harder to keep the horses and bulls in your backyard when you live in college town. So let me tell you why I miss these few things from back home.
Let’s start with the pumpkin patch. We recently went to Britt’s as a sorority for our Big/Little reveal, which was so much fun my little, Sierra, is a doll, and it reminded me of the patch we have back home. In Gretna, Nebraska, only a short thirty-minute drive from my house, there is a huge pumpkin patch called Vala’s. Vala’s is a 400-acre operation that has a pumpkin patch, food, games, haunted houses, and old mines to walk through for entertainment. They also make the world’s best caramel apples, trust me on this one! Growing up, it was a tradition that my family and I went every season. Now that I’m three hours away from home, I don’t get to go which honestly stinks! But I make up for it by getting pictures of my Niece and Nephew playing around at the patch. While this is the fall activity I miss the most, I also miss harvest.
I already sense the amount of eye rolls I’m receiving for saying this, but stay with me. If we ignore all the dust, pollen, and the sound of the fans running 24/7 on the corn bins we get to see the amazing sense of community that happens in order to get through harvest. The late nights of waiting for Dad to get home and for Mom to finally come sit down from cleaning and making dinner made our family realize how important family is and how precious our time together is. It’s also making dinner and taking it out to the fields to see the neighbors coming over to help finish the last few acres. While pollen allergies aren’t that fun, it’s worth it to put life into perspective and strengthen family bonds. Now, let me tell you about all the animals on my parent’s acreage.
My parent’s acreage has a lot of different animal life and agriculture all in only 6 acres of land. Let me start on an imaginary walk through the animal life that thrives on my property back home. First off, we have three dogs. One house dog and two outdoor “protectors”. Then of course, every farm house has to have some random barn cats running about. Next, we have a few ducks, which I purchased junior year of high school for no other reason than to simply have ducks as a pet. Then we go out behind Dad’s machine shed to the goats and bull. We have one bull, that should actually be turned to some delicious meat here soon, and a couple goats. The goats are more for my nephew to show in 4H. Sometimes though, I think the goats would have better luck
showing him, insert laugh. Finally, we walk more toward the corn bins and we have two horses. Both are sorrels, one is mine and one is my mom’s. You know how some people will say cows are just giant dogs, I would argue that horses are basically giant cats. They’re needy, self-absorbed, and loving all at the same time. Can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. While it may seem that I’m sarcastic about all the animal life back home, I wish I could still walk outside and be greeted by some wet dog noses giving love, and getting neck hugs from my horse, Ruby.
I love life here at college and I’m surrounded by different animal units provided by the university and some crop fields surrounding the outskirts of town, but it’s not always the same feel as home. No matter how far you go for college, you will always miss a little bit of home!