As I was driving to my favorite café today, I started thinking about the things that I still don’t understand about living in the Midwest. I have only officially lived here since July 2015—that’s less than a year and a half, if you’re counting. So, that makes me a newbie to the region.
Here are some of the mysteries of the Midwest that I have yet to unravel (feel free to help a girl out if you can explain!):
1. Roadside fires. When I first noticed this phenomenon last fall, I was very concerned that some poor, unsuspecting homeowner’s life was about to go up in smoke. Then I noticed several different fires off the main road to our house. It turns out that folks around here have a penchant for burning their own yard waste, often in ditches right next to a busy road. The result is stinky, smoky, and will tempt you to call the fire department. Even my next-door neighbors are known for burning their own yard waste AND TRASH in a big rusted trash receptacle a little too close to our property line. One time I witnessed them burning Styrofoam. Because that is super great for our air quality.