Nebraska is a pretty great place to grow up. Most parts of the state are safe enough that kids are free to run around and have adventures without fear. But kids are also busy learning some pretty important lessons. Just about everyone who grew up here can attest to these 15 simple lessons we learned while we were growing up.
In the winter, always budget in an extra 10 minutes before you have to leave.
You'll have to warm up the engine, brush the snow off of your car, then scrape the windows. Even with the defroster on full blast.
Learn to drive well in the snow and ice or just don't drive in the winter at all.
If you can't handle your car in the rough weather, that's ok - just find someone who can and bribe them to be your personal chauffeur.
Always, always, always have a pair of jumper cables with you.
I can't count how many times I've gotten a new set as a Christmas gift from relatives. They were REALLY serious about this.
There's no steak like a Nebraska steak.
You know why restaurants always note on their menus that they serve "Nebraska beef?" Because it's a waste of a meal to eat anything else.
Respect the land.
We're feeding the whole country, and often our own families depend on what we grow. So take care of the land and it'll take care of us.
Grow as much of your own food as you can.
There's really no question - anything grown in your own garden tastes better than anything you can buy in a store.
Learn to DIY.
Whether it's canning your own vegetables, changing your own oil, patching your own clothes, or building your own cabinets, doing things for yourself will not only save you money; it'll make you more independent.
There's no substitute for hard work.
There are few feelings sweeter than coming home after a hard day's work and knowing you've accomplished something today.
Fall isn't fall until you've picked your own apples.
...and eaten one right there under the tree.
Hold your hand flat when you feed a horse.
If it bites your fingers it won't be able to let go! This may seem a little out of place among the other life lessons on this list, but it was drilled into our heads so much as kids that I can't leave it out. And my family didn't even own horses.
Take advantage of perfect weather.
Because we only have about eight or nine days of it in a good year.
There's nothing like the Nebraska State Fair!
But the county fair is a very close second.
Mind your manners.
Sadly, this doesn't seem to be as big a deal to some parents these days. But when I was growing up, I'd never hear the end of it if I forgot a "please," "thank you," or "excuse me." Also, ALWAYS hold the door open for the person going through it after you.
"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." - Thomas Merton
Nobody likes a braggart, and that goes double in Nebraska.
Family comes first, always.
Without our families, we wouldn't have had anyone to teach us to be good people. Thanks, Nebraska families, for teaching us the lessons we needed to learn.
What do you think, Nebraska? What other lessons did you learn while growing up in the Cornhusker State?