Western NE ‘vocabulary’ offers new definitions

Western NE 'vocabulary' offers new definitions MyStoryYourStory By: Paula Damon There is no question about it; as soon as winter elbows in, my thoughts drift back to summer months while on vacation in western Nebraska, near the Wyoming state line. My longing for crazy days in the wild blue yonder grows deep and wide. Traffic jams out there are insane with nearly a dozen varieties of birds, including Meadow Larks, Mountain Blue Birds, Nuthatches, Finches and Yellow-breasted Chats. Highway noise amounts to a howling wind all hours â�?�? both day and night. Multi-tasking while driving happens while catching glimpses of wildlife along both sides of the highway. On my daily hikes, air pollution amounts to the aroma of pine-covered hills and wild flowers along the way. Crash and burn takes on new meaning as a robinâ�?�?s�? egg and a�? goose egg hazard falls. Two badgers become nosey neighbors peering from their burrows as I pass by. (I have pictures�? to prove�? their intrusive behavior.) Raccoons, coyotes and deer leave their calling cards along the trail. My Roll-a-Decks out there in Western Nebraska includes Hickory trees at the top of the next crest, a grove of Oaks around the bend and a spread Cypress down the lane. Back at camp, Mocking Birds, Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, and Woodpeckers all vying for airtime produce that ringing in my ears. The nightlife â�?�?Out West,â�? as I like to call it,�? are the glitz and glitter of a million stars overhead. Breaking curfew are a lonely hoot owl and a snarling raccoon. Eye candy becomes the flourishing open range with its succulent stonecrop and bluish purple flowered beardtongue. My â�?�?Inboxâ�? fills with wood I collect during the day for a campfire I will build tonight. My â�?�?Outboxâ�?? The campfire. Runtime is the length of my afternoon nap. Downtime becomes real time when the sound of silence proves to be deafening. My alarm clock is the collective sound of morning doves cooing me into being. Welcome to Western Nebraska. A resident of Southeast South Dakota for more than 30 years, Paula Damon is a popular columnist, keynote speaker and freelance writer. Her columns have won first place in Iowa Press Women and National Federation of Press Women competitions. Paulaâ�?�?s col-umns took second place statewide in the South Dakota Press Women 2007 and 2008 Communications Contests. To schedule prose readings by Paula Damon for your next event or fundraiser, e-mail paulada mon@iw.net. 2008�?© Paula Damon

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