It’s not often that we talk about just how much Kansas gets under our skin and into our spirit. Even years after we’ve moved away, Kansans will find themselves still practicing habits like these without fail. Here are 13 of our favorite undeniable habits that Kansans seem to pick up and keep forever. Do you do any of these, or know of any more?
1. Adding a possessive 's' at the end of places.
For Kansans, it's "JC Penney's" instead of JC Penney, and other similar store names also get the extra 's', seemingly at random. I have no idea how this started, but it's become a common occurrence in any community I've been to.
2. Waving to people on the road or anyone you make eye contact with.
It's just polite when someone lets you through before them, but it's turned into a common formality for many Kansans to give a little wave or smile to those they meet eyes with, on the road or on foot.
3. Not minding that smell of the cattle trailer you just passed.
For those of us who do a lot of country or highway driving, cattle trailers are a common feature. They always seem to smell the same, even if they've been washed, and you'll always smell it in your car as you pass. For us though, it's the smell of home.
4. Getting to know your neighbors.
Getting to know your neighbors is just something we do, because we care about others and our neighborhoods. The more friends we have, the more people will keep an eye on our kids or call the police if someone breaks into our home while we're gone. Nosy neighbors aren't
always a bad thing.
5. Watching the horizon for your destination.
In Kansas, many of our landscapes allow you to see your destination approaching, day or night. Either you can see the glow of the town's lights, or the buildings peeking up over the horizon as you draw near.
6. Chatting up strangers.
Waiting in line at the grocery store? A Kansan might try and talk to you, commenting on anything just to get a conversation going. Even if they'll never see you again, what's wrong with a little small talk?
7. Visiting the lake every summer.
If you've moved away from Kansas and no longer have a local lake, I know your pain. Missing a lake during the summer is a feeling I think we all have sometimes, when there's an algae bloom or something else preventing you from your usual summertime fun. Of course, you can still have bonfires at the lake, but it's nothing compared to tubing or lounging on an air mattress.
8. Being more than a little curious about a big storm or tornado touchdown.
Tornadoes are the most interesting part of Kansas weather, so when we get one close by, we'd like to take a good look at it. Unless it's a big one, then we usually just head for cover like normal humans.
9. Putting ranch on more that just a few salads.
Some Kansans (I'm looking at
you) like to put ranch on just about anything. Pizza, chicken nuggets, fries, and drowning your salad are all Kansan uses for ranch. I personally don't understand the love, but many of my fellow Kansans swear by it.
10. Collecting a freezer full of meat.
Okay, I can understand a separate freezer, but why do they always fill up with meat? My parents buy meat by the half-cow and it ends up looking a lot like this one here. Of course, it's probably the most convenient way to stockpile food in case you're stuck at home for a few days during our next ice storm.
11. "Have a good one!"
Every time you're leaving the grocery store, the gas station, or a relative's house, you can hear this. All over Kansas, you hear "Have a good one!" and even say it yourself. Where did this phrase come from, and how did it take over the usual "Have a good day!" we used to all say instead?
12. Feeling claustrophobic while driving through other states.
Roads lined with mountains, trees, and other crowding are just not common in Kansas. For many of us, we get so used to the wide open spaces that driving in other, more mountainous states, we get a little claustrophobic sometimes.
13. That huge sigh that comes out when someone mentions The Movie.
Any time we're out of state, this little quote pops up when we answer where we're from. Of course, it's possible to never leave home, but what fun would that be?
If you’re interested in seeing just how beautiful Kansas can be, you should definitely explore
some of our best byways on your next trip.