Cappers Farmer Blogs > Old Dog, New Tricks

The Place Where We Live

Mary ConleyDear friends,

I'm supposed to be writing about rebuilding the barn, but I guess I have blogger's block! Instead, I want to tell you about a new word I learned while studying Spanish recently, as it has become stuck in my mind. It is querencia, and it means the wanting place, a safe place, or where one feels at home. A place from which one’s strength is drawn. I find it curious that I have two of those places, although they are as different as night and day.

I've noticed people tend to favor where they've grown up. They've become accustomed to its unique and familiar ways. It is where they feel comfortable. Someone is always asking us if we'll ever move to our farm, and recently I heard myself saying that I doubt it, but it would be my preference. I'm wondering if I love the farm so much because I began my life's journey on one. Maybe that is why on one of my first nights on the farm, I mumbled, “I’m happy” as I was falling asleep.

Soon after we married, we moved to Omaha so Larry could attend a trade school. City life was very foreign to us compared to the farm and a small Iowa town of about 400, but we ended up adjusting to suburbia and raising our family here. I recently asked Larry, "Now, why was it that we stayed in Omaha instead of going back home?" Jobs, we decided. Then, five years ago when circumstances allowed, we bought our little farm. It was just supposed to be an interesting land investment, but quite unexpectedly, querencia set in.


A typical Nebraska landscape three miles from our farm.

Jim Crosley, a farm friend, who had recently been to the Rockies, told us that he thinks the mountains are beautiful but he prefers to be able to see for miles and miles. Not long after, we visited his farm, and you can do just that! We also learned that he grew up there and was raised in the very same house! Querencia!

I recently read a quote by Willa Cather, who also loved the Nebraska prairie. Please forgive me, our mountain-loving friends, as I dedicate it to Jim and other farm friends who understand it deeply.

“Wire fences might mark the end of a man’s pasture, but they could not shut in his thoughts as mountains and forests can” – "The Song of the Lark" by Willa Cather

Where is your querencia? I'm quite certain mine is anywhere with Larry! Aw-w-w

4/21/2014 5:13:52 AM

Thanks for sharing Dave, and I agree with you. I like the four seasons. I would miss each one. I think Nebraska a great place to live.

4/20/2014 2:41:04 PM

Mary, where is home? That is the question. I would say where ever the family is but then that would be Las Vegas. Never going to be my home. It's a great place to visit but not to live. I moved away from Nebraska once to live in St. Louis for seven years. Upon moving back to Nebraska, I vowed never to leave again and I intend on keeping the vow. I discovered that I missed the seasons. Here the seasons are very definite and last three months give or take depending on the year. I really missed the Spring and Fall that were short or non existent in St. Louis. I like all the seasons. Even the dreaded Winter with the cold, storms, shoveling snow, and winter driving can be enjoyed with the right attitude. It makes the Spring even more enjoyable. So I guess my answer would not be a specific place other than Eastern Nebraska. ***** Have a great place where you live day.

4/18/2014 11:46:07 PM

Thanks for commenting ladies!

4/16/2014 9:05:01 AM

Mary, as if I didn't relate enough to your blog, you then had to throw in the last comment about Larry. Perfect! Here's hoping we all have a querencia!

4/16/2014 9:02:51 AM

I love this post, Mary. Jim is always talking about moving out west, but the northeast is home to me. The west beats the east for beauty, hands down, but it just doesn't say "home" like what we have here. Go figure!