10 things I love about Iowa
Today’s post is the last in our Week-o-Love series, so it seems only right that I return to the place where I started…I mean, really started…and that’s Iowa. While I’ve counted Colorado home for 40 years, I’ve never stopped loving that state that straddles I-80 and stretches from the Missouri to the Mississipi. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. The people. To my friends out here and in the other 48, forget the images you were fighting to get out of your heads after the recent caucuses. Come home with me sometime and meet some extremely bright, fiscally responsible and socially conscious folks of the (D) and (R) and (I) persuasion. I know where they live.
2. Drake University. During a few-months personal regrouping session in Des Moines during 1977, I took some courses on that gorgeous campus that changed the course of my career. One in Creative Thinking was taught by a gentleman genius from Better Homes & Gardens. Have thought differently ever since.
3. Tenderloin sandwiches. Salivating now; said it all here: https://ourownsweettime.com/2011/08/13/the-best-tenderloin-i-ever-ate/
4. Reunions. There may be other states as good at hosting these remember-when? gatherings of friends and families, but Iowa truly does have this down to a science. My friend Holly regularly travels from here to there and back again for reunions on the eastern side of the state. My family has its Memorial Day tradition. And this summer, there’s the biennial All School reunion slated for the Seymour, Iowa town square. Promise me pics, Class of ’68?
5. State Fair. There are more memories made here than funnel cakes, fried Oreos and foods-on-a-stick, combined. My early ones are of wandering the midway with Marilyn Sue Snook. My last one was of sharing the iconic butter cow with my daughter. And in the middle–circa ’77– is one lovely, laugh-filled evening in the campground with my friend Doris and her family.
6. Honey Creek. What a lovely natural + developed resource. Good planning, people.
7. The land. Pick a season, any season, and what you see is just this side of sacred. Cropland. Timber. Pasture. Green/gold/red foliage. Black earth. Amen.
8. That every season has a scent. This one is courtesy of my brother Gary (who is doing much better, thank you, all!). As someone who has raised crops and cattle in the spring and summer, hunted pheasants and deer in the fall and winter, I consider him a pretty good authority on the subject. Had never thought about it until this morning.
9. Ingenuity. There is no end to the ways of saying I love you. But if you’re a farmer with black Angus that need fed and a wife who needs a Valentine, what better way to accomplish both than to spread a heart of hay? That’s the story behind the photo above. Even from some 750 miles away, I can see it’s the perfect, practical solution. To me, it explains why so many great inventors have come from The Hawkeye State.
10. _(fill in this blank) ______Last thing I love is knowing that Iowegians–present, past and passing through–all have a comment when a list like this appears. 😉
P.S. Yes, Doris, I did “borrow” this image from your FaceBook feed. Thanks!