Origins of a Prairie Wife Part 2
Posted October 25, 2013 by Prairie Wife -
It was the time of year that most high school seniors dread, college applications were due. My friends were suddenly unavailable on weekends; they were all sitting at home with stacks of paperwork to fill out. Their parents looked nervously over their shoulders, pacing as their children mailed off their futures with a 30 dollar check.
Ma and Pa should have felt blessed that I didn’t face these same horrors. I already knew where I was going, the University of Wyoming (though I hadn’t officially been accepted yet). My application had been mailed off months earlier. Instead of relaxing with me, I could tell they were getting more and more tense every day. Finally, Pa approached me. It turns out they felt I was a little over confident, and that I should apply to more than one college. I personally didn’t feel the need; after all, Wyoming was the only place I wanted to go. After several conversations that became more and more forceful, I relented, and applied to two colleges in Colorado.
Much to their relief I was accepted to all of them, I can’t believe they doubted me! I of course picked the University of Wyoming. I was only 17 when I headed out for college, so Pa needed to come with me, to open a bank account and sign some paperwork. We booked two tickets to Denver. I packed my stuff and in the fall we went west. We drove from Denver to Laramie and I fell in love with Wyoming all over again. Golden Sunflowers covered the sides of the road and antelope were everywhere (I had thought they were only in Africa). I was confused by the large wooden fences that were everywhere, yet seemed to keep nothing contained. I would later learn that they were snow fences, and prevented snow from drifting into the roads.
Pa pulled into Laramie, Wyoming and I knew I had made the right choice. Tall trees lined the streets, and the peaks of the Snowy Range were visible in the distance. The campus was even more beautiful than in the brochures. Pa and I headed to the dorms and I found my room, the top floor of the tallest building in Wyoming (12floors)! As he and I unpacked I leaned out the window to look at the view. I saw movement in the room next door and promptly introduced myself. After all, I didn’t know anyone; I knew I needed to make some friends fast.
When my room was unpacked and all the paperwork was signed I walked Pa down to the rental car. Due to work he was only able to spend the one day in Laramie. He had to drive back to Denver to catch a flight early the next morning. I gave him a hug and kiss, and headed back to my room to make some more friends. Pa still talks about how my ponytail bounced in the breeze as I walked away, without a backward glance. Little did he know it took everything I had, to keep my head up and shoulders back, just like he had taught me, and walk into the next step of my life.
Read more of the story in Origins of a Prairie Wife: Part 3