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What do you miss about home?

It’s a common question in ex-pat circles, and I hear it even more now that everyone knows I will be returning to the states in a few short months. Most American ex-pats will probably tell you they miss some specific brands, some familiar food items, a favorite store (Target and Whole Foods seem to be popular responses), and the seasons.

But one response that’s generally unanimous amongst the Yankees? “I miss wide open spaces.”

It’s true: everything in the US is big. BIIIG. Our roads are wider, cars are bigger, people are larger, meal portions are super-sized, and heck – even our toilet paper rolls are thicker. There’s just a general sense of more space.

And this is what I was pondering this morning when my Dad sent me this link to pictures of Deadwood, SD – a town about 400 miles east of where his ancestors settled when they emigrated from Norway in 1882 – and the town of HBO fame.

[all pictures by John C.H. Grabill, via the DenverPost]

They make me feel nostalgic for home. It’s an America that no longer exists (and possibly never existed in the way we romanticize it today), but that reminds me of the spacious skies of my country.

The photos are currently archived in the Library of Congress. Check out the link for more images of frontier life.

March 2011
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