Midwest is the best west

A look into life in the Midwest through the eyes of a native.

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Breigha Sawyer, Writer

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When someone thinks of the Midwest they think of cold winters, ice-covered houses, farms with horses and cows, open spaces and not much excitement. These are all true of the Midwest, but only between November and February when there are glorious snowstorms, ice covered fields and sub-zero temperature. The other nine months are simply gorgeous in comparison to the harsh winter. As soon as it turns 40 degrees, you will find dads mowing the lawn in shorts and a t-shirt while children splash in puddles.

There is special connection I have with fellow Midwesterners. When I hear “I’m from Minnesota!” I respond with incredible enthusiasm, “No way, I’m from Michigan!” Then we continue to blabber about the weather, camping, road trips and sand dunes or how our hockey teams are playing. We call carbonated beverages “pop” and the northern part of our states “up north.”

 

Camping is an annual event full of fishing on lakes, bonfires and catching fireflies.

A nice weekend away consists of driving to Chicago, taking a picture under the Bean and eating at a famous Chicago-style pizzeria, and Caribou Coffee trumps Starbucks any day.

Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world, is the only good thing about Ohio. And the Mall of America and the Mississippi River are the only main tourist attractions in Minnesota.

 

Beside the few major cities, the Midwest is composed of dairy farms spotted with red barns and rolling bluffs with endless forestry. Hunting is a way of life. In most houses there are fishing plaques and deer heads hanging on the walls. Instead of hearing “Let’s go to Ellen” or “Let’s go to this movie premiere,” we say “let’s play Euchre then go to Steak ‘n Shake.” We have very bland food, folky music, good drivers and thunderstorms that could possibly lead to a tornado. If you see dark green skies, hide in your basement until it turns blue again.

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, living in close proximity to Eminem’s house, I loved my area, bike riding in the park, the small town-feel, the Detroit skyline and reading at my local coffee shop. However, I had this dream of traveling, moving west and discovering more of society. In the Midwest, people see California either as the all American Dream or a world of chaos, far too fast-paced for their taste. When I tell friends and family I go to school in Los Angeles they respond with a “Wow, that’s incredible!” or “Why are you back here? I would never leave Cali!” And when I tell Californians that I am from Michigan they say, “You must be loving this weather, yeah?” Yes I love the weather and culture here, but I will forever be grateful for my life in the Mitten state. We have short vowels and friendly faces, four seasons and lots of lakes. We bond over our cities, sports and food joints and will always be proud to be from the best west.

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