We all should know that the nickname for Illinois is The Prairie State, right? Surely we know that Hawaii's nickname is The Aloha State. And New York is known as The Empire State.
A couple of states' nicknames were puzzling me, so I had to look them up. I found out that Louisiana is The Pelican State. Alabama is the Yellowhammer State. Montana is The Treasure State. And good ol' North Dakota has three nicknames: Peace Garden State, Flickertail State and Roughrider State. There is one state nickname, however, that I can always remember. It's where both of my parents were born. That would be the state of Kansas - The Sunflower State! We regularly visited our Grandparents there and I will always remember the fields of yellow sunflowers. Not the big honkin' tall ones, but the shorter types. I love these flowers because of their color, but also because they seem like such "happy" flowers. Surely if a flower could be given a humanized adjective, they would be the happy, cheery, optimistic ones!
This past weekend we biked to a local park - Winnemac Park - and found a little field of those cheery sunflowers. Blooming with wild abandon right smack in the middle of the city of Chicago!Thinking back to the line in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy says, "We're not in Kansas anymore," I'd like to keep the sunflower state-of-mind myself of being sunny and happy as the
flowers are right now. Please, winter, take your sweet time before arriving here!!