It’s a sad fact of life that a lot of Nebraskans will end up moving away at some point. But living in the Cornhusker State changes you in a lot of ways that don’t go away once you leave the state. No matter how long you’ve been gone, true Nebraskans will probably find that these habits die hard.
1. Being prepared for any type of weather.
You go ahead and wear your shorts and t-shirt...we'll bring long pants, boots, and a coat just in case. Because in Nebraska you never can tell when that sunny day is going to morph into a surprise snowstorm.
2. Likewise being prepared for any potential car situation.
No matter where we go, we'll have jumper cables, a blanket, a first aid kit, spare tire, emergency hazard triangles, and some kitty litter in the trunk (and, if we're really prepared, an empty gas can). You can thank us later when we rescue you from just about any kind of car trouble.
3. Gorging ourselves on fresh produce when it's in season.
Everyone knows that the best fruits and veggies come from the gardens of friends and family...but the second best place to get them is from a stranger on the side of the road who's selling them out of a pickup bed. In a pinch we'll go to a farmers market. But no matter where it comes from, fresh produce is a staple of our summer diets.
4. Standing outside to watch severe weather.
When people in other states are running inside to take shelter, we're running outside to catch pictures of the hail or drink a few beers while we speculate on just how bad this storm will turn out to be.
5. Cheering for the Huskers no matter what.
Did you move to a state with a pro football team? Or perhaps one with a highly-regarded college team? Doesn't matter. Once a Husker fan, always a Husker fan.
6. Always feeling a nostalgic camaraderie with other Huskers fans.
Make no mistake about it - we will not hesitate to YELL "Go Big Red!" at a complete stranger if they happen to be out on game day in a red shirt.
7. Forever craving Runza.
Once you get a taste of that bready, meaty, cheesy goodness and then move to where there are no Runza restaurants...well, spending a bunch of money to have a dozen frozen ones shipped to you suddenly doesn't seem so crazy.
A special mention should also go out to Valentino's pizza, Wimmers Wieners, Dorothy Lynch dressing, kolaches, Nebraska beef, and every other food we grew up loving.
8. And don't forget the chili and cinnamon rolls.
There has been some controversy in the comments of previous articles where this combo is mentioned. It seems like most people remember it from school lunches, other people have never heard of it, and still others swear that every state eats these foods together. (And then there are those who hate the picture because the frosting is missing. Sorry.) No matter which is true for you, this really is a thing that Nebraskans love, and we continue to love it even after we leave.
9. Enjoying the great outdoors, no matter what the weather's like.
If we get the urge to grill out when there are two feet of snow on the ground, we're gonna grill out. Don't worry - the heat from the grill will keep you warm!
10. Stocking up on...well, everything.
Nebraskans have thriftiness built into our genes. Many of our parents and grandparents survived some pretty lean times as farmers or ranchers, and they taught us the value of spending wisely and preparing for anything. When we find a good sale (or, even better, a friend who wants to share some deer meat after hunting), you can bet that extra freezer in the garage is going to be stuffed with it.
11. Doing the farmer wave.
This one would be a hard habit to break. We basically go our entire lives (after we learn to drive, anyway) greeting people this way on country roads. Even in suburbia, we raise a couple of fingers in thanks when a car pulls over to let us by on a narrow street.
12. Drinking red beer.
Nah, we don't mean your fancy hoppy craft IPA or whatever it is you're drinking. We mean good old beer and tomato juice. Call it a Nebraska Bloody Mary if you will...either way, it's delicious and we need to spread the word to anyone who hasn't tried it.
13. Stopping to have conversations with anyone, even strangers.
We're friendly - we can't help it! Talking to strangers is just one of those things we do. Take it from someone who moved away briefly and came back: people in other places will cross the street to get away from you if you try to talk to them.
What other Nebraska habits have died hard for you after you moved away? Did we miss any important ones? Add them to the list by leaving a comment!