My husband grew up in a small town in South Dakota. He first took me out there when we were dating for our first Thanksgiving together. I remember we drove all night and he woke me up about ten miles from home. It was pitch black out and freezing cold. But, the stars! Oh, the stars. They were everywhere! I grew up in Vermont, so I’m not foreign to seeing lots of stars. But, this was totally different. There are no trees out west to block the view. It’s phenomenal. The moon was so bright, Brian turned off his headlights and we drove for a few miles with just the moonlight as our guide. So incredible.
I had a hard time adjusting to South Dakota when we first got married. It’s quite desolate compared to Vermont or Pennsylvania. I had to laugh the first time I saw a “real life” cowboy with the tight jeans, giant bell buckle, and 20 gallon cowboy hat wandering through Walmart stocking up for the winter. But, as time went by, I grew to love living out there. We would drive for hours just for fun and never see anybody. We would drive up into the hills and go hiking for our Christmas tree every year.
We would stand on our porch at the apartment or in our backyard at our house and watch the storms roll through. We would stand outside and admire the sunsets that went on and on as far as the eye could see. The wind would knock us over (literally!), the blizzards would snow us in, the cotton trees made us horribly sick, and the sun gave me the worst sunburns ever. But, I loved it out there.
This morning on the radio, I heard a Rich Mullins song I haven’t heard in awhile. It reminded me of home. It also expresses a lot of what I feel when I’m in South Dakota worshiping God. So, here’s the video. For those of you overseas who read this – I thought of you when I posted it. Hope it gives you a glimpse of home, even if you’re not from out west.