Have you ever met an explorer? One of those people who doesn’t just travel and site see but goes to the craziest places and sees stuff that makes the average person (even in this global, digital world) go, “Wow!” Well, I got to hear a presentation by such a person once. He told stories, showed pictures, and then he recounted a conversation he’d recently had.
A person asked this world explorer, why, of all the amazing places he’d seen, did he make his home in Kansas City? Seems like a valid question, right? But his response had all of us natives nodding a laughing in response.
The answer went something like this: We’re enjoying the sunshine in shorts and T-shirt one day, and the next day we have to shovel a foot of snow off the driveway. A tornado can rip through at a moment’s notice, hop over a building and demolish the next. We don’t just have snowstorms and thunderstorms—we have ice storms, where every surface is coated in thick ice and the power is guaranteed to be out for a while.
He went on for a moment, but his conclusion: Kansas City is the most adventurous place on earth!
I was excited to use Kansas City as the setting for my work in progress. It’s more than just where the story happens. It’s another character. Setting can work for and against characters in the same story. There’s a great deal of adaptability that comes with living in the Midwest, and even adventure.
My husband and I got married on St. Patrick’s day (March 17) and it was ninety degrees. On our first anniversary it snowed. I remember once in high school wearing shorts and playing in the snow, because we’d gotten dumped on in October, and then the temps jumped back up to eighties before it all melted. Not to mention the times I’ve heard the wind smack against my windows and instinctively know—it’s time to run to the basement! This gives me a little flexibility as I write, because I can make the weather do (almost) anything I need for the story’s sake.
Kansas City does not seem like the most glamorous setting for a story. It’s not the most beautiful place on earth…or even near the top of the list. It’s not super famous or, on the surface level, extremely intriguing. But I learned something from that world explorer, and it changed the way I looked at life in general.
Sometimes I wonder—How am I still in Kansas City? How am I living a relatively normal life? But adventure is all in how I look at it, as the explorer taught me. It might seem like I live in a boring place, but this crazy amazing weather has me on the edge of my seat! It might seem average to drive a minivan and raise kids in a house with a picket fence, but it’s actually pretty crazy! My expectation to be disappointed will never fail me. But expect adventure, and I don’t have to look very far.
Sadly, this will be my last post for Romance Readers’ Café. I’ve decided to step away from contributing monthly to the blog so that I can focus on family and health in the coming year. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I hope to see you around the café every now and then 😉