Cate, Plain and Tall

sarahI think most people in the United States of America have seen, or at least heard of the movie Sarah, Plain and Tall starring Glenn Close and Christopher Walken.  The Hallmark Channel seems to show the movie series on a somewhat regular basis.  I do believe I’ve seen them each about three times, if not more.

This series is about a farmer in the mid west who lost his wife.  To find a new wife and a mother of his already born children he places an ad in a newspaper for a mail order bride.  Sarah, from the coast of Maine answers his ad.  She leaves the sea and the plush green north-east and journeys to the dry mid west and a new adventure in life.  The story is wholesome and pure and rather good for a cold rainy day indoors. I find it particularly interesting that both stars have played some pretty sketchy roles in other films. 😉

All this said to tell you my Cate, Plain and Tall saga.  I grew up on the very humid and green east coast of the USA.  I did spend several years in southern California but landed back in the east for several more.  Four years ago my husband and I packed up and sold house and left some of our children and grandchildren to begin a new journey in the mid west.  Like Sarah, I miss the smell of the ocean and the sand between my toes.  I miss the cooling down of temperatures in the late afternoon – here it begins cool down at about 3 am – about twelve hours too late.garth-williams-little-house-on-the-prairie-original-artwork  I miss the food we ate back east –  I miss the bakeries.  I miss the seafood.  I miss the pizza.  I miss the hoagies.  I miss the WAWA!   I miss the attitudes from time to time.  You always know where a nor’easter person is coming from – right to the point.  I miss Easter dinner with my son and his family and all other gatherings with them!  What it comes down to is I miss what is familiar to me.  I’ve found that most people I’ve met here that have grown up in this area and never left to live anywhere else do not understand those who have.  They don’t understand that you actually go through a type of culture shock.  At least they speak English here.

So, I found I had to find new familiars.  I love the warm and sometimes hot dry wind that blows through here – as long as it’s not associated to a  tornado.  Getting out and discovering things native to this land is fun.  I love the wild birds and the plants.  I love the local coffee shops and roasteries and the local restaurants.  I love the abundance of STEAK!  I love the friendliness of the people and the variety of culture offered in the metropolitan areas.  Not so fond of red BBQ sauce unless taken in moderation.











I believe life should be adventurous – for me.  I get easily tired with the same old, same old.  Need to feel like there is always progression even if I stay in the same town for decades.  I just love to look for the adventure in whatever it is I’m doing now.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I am glad we came to the mid-west and I like it here.  I’ve looked and will continue to look for the adventure in this land.  Like Sarah, Plain and Tall I will always miss the shore and the things that formed me at a young age but have learned to find my new familiars and things that I love in this part of my life’s adventure.  I Hope you all can do that in whatever you are doing or in where ever you are living for the now.


cate b – Cate, Plain and Tall

The “Wild” (mid) West

My husband and I moved to the mid west just 3 years ago this past February.  Sigh.  It’s not really the “wild” west. It’s more the gateway to the “wild” west.  Actually, we are farther west than St. Louis, the true gateway to the west, but not quite out in the wild.  Somewhere almost to Oz.

It’s nice here.  The climate is very similar to where I grew up in NJ except the sniff of salty sea air is lacking.  The air, though, always smells great.  Even the hot dry air from the west that blows in – maybe left over Oklahoma air that goes sweeping down the plain.

Since coming here I have learned to ride a horse (of course), I’ve developed a fear of freeways, I can find myself in and out of two different states in a matter of minutes, I’m tempted to speak in a Southern accent AND I LOVE smokers – not the human kind, the cooking kind!

Thanks to a good friend I was “introduced” to The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond).  She may very well be my favorite thing about the mid-west (next to my grand daughter).  Not only do I love the way she cooks, but I love her simplicity and happiness with her family and cooking, her humor, her ranch, and did I mention her cooking?

I’ve learned a lot from The Pioneer Woman.  I appreciate her love of food and her unashamed honesty about that love.  Food is good.  She has also taught me to relax and go ahead and fix that food with joy.  I think I’ve become a better cook since I’ve moved here.

However, and I apologize now, this love for that red BBQ sauce…….  Sorry, I’m not feeling it.  I like it on chicken – lightly.  I like that flavor in baked beans, very much.  But when you move from Italian/American central where meatballs and most everything else is smothered in a red sauce, Italian flavored, and find yourself facing a crock pot full of meatballs smothered in what you thought was the same red sauce you knew and loved, and then you toss a meatball in your mouth and POW – it’s covered in BBQ sauce!  Well, shock is a light way to describe how I felt.  I do admit it tasted good – a few of them – but I’m not buying it totally.  Not yet.  It took me just short of 3 years to call this home.  We’ll see how long it takes to slurp down the BBQ.  You folks ever try the sauce from the Carolinas?  Vinegar with a big kick?  I tried yours – now you should try that. 🙂

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