2016 marks 10 years since I moved to South Dakota. My wife and I came up from Nebraska. Before Sioux Falls we lived in Kearney, NE in the south-central part of the state. Before that I grew up in the southern Nebraska panhandle.

Nebraska and South Dakota are similar in many ways. Both have a large agricultural element to their economies and an Old West legacy. Both have large urban centers in the east and lots of rural space everywhere else. Both states feel about the same way about Iowa.

I’m still glad I moved here and really like living in Sioux Falls, but there are some things that as a Nebraska transplant I’m still not use to.

  • 1

    No Runzes

    If you don’t know; Runza is a Nebraska based chain of restaurants. They serve all the basics; hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries, onion rings and their signature menu item: the Runza. It’s a sandwich made with ground beef, cabbage, cheese and their special spices.

    It’s a super good place to eat, and after growing up in Nebraska it still seems weird to not see one (or several) everywhere I go.

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  • 2

    Sales Tax on Food

    I’ll probably never get use to this. To this day I’m not use to paying sales tax on food at the grocery store. It’s so ingrained in my mind that if bread costs $3.00, I’m going to pay $3.00.

    On the other hand, not having to mess around with filing a state tax return in South Dakota has been nice.

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  • 3

    Football Indifference

    You might say, “Hey Ben, people in the 605 are pretty football crazy too.” No, not even close. I bet you could ask the next 10 people you see today who’s the football coach at USD and you wouldn’t break fifty percent positive answers. This is not a bad thing, it is GREAT. In Nebraska even if you have no interest in sports, the actions and antics of the Huskers are seep into your consciousness. It is topic number one on the TV, radio and newspaper. Mondays after game day were great in high school because you could always count on losing part of the day to a football

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  • 4

    Cold Weather

    This might be a little Eastern South Dakota specific, but it gets and stays so cold here. Snow I hate, but can deal with. But, the cold here is like a four month practical joke the jet stream is playing on us. Sure it’d drop below zero in Nebraska. For a couple of days at a time. Then it’s right back up to the 30s.

    When I see that weather map on TV the tempters in Rapid City stir such deep nostalgia in me. There were several times growing up in the panhandle where we’d have cold, blizzard, than 70 degrees! I’ve experienced more white Christmases (Thanksgivings, Easters, and Halloweens too) in the last decade than any time before.

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