Friday, July 26, 2013

Home Sweet Iowa

[Music while you read? Scroll to the bottom of the post and click on the YouTube link!]

I’m taking a little Ohio break to conjure up images of my home state – Iowa.  All those Ohio pioneers, or their descendants, left Ohio in their ox and horse drawn covered wagons for the promise of free and fertile fields when Iowa territory was opened up for settlement.  Some of them stayed a while in Indiana; I can see lovely Quaker farms a la Friendly Persuasion. For my direct line the siren call of Iowa, on the other side the Mississippi River (not a small obstacle), could not be resisted. One or two of our abolitionist families trekked on to Kansas to fight the good fight for a free state, but most liked what they saw in northeastern Iowa.

About a week ago I was up in the wee hours working on Ohio when a sidebar ad caught my eye. It offered a free Iowa travel guide. Well, I’ve wanted to go to Iowa ever since I retired in 2010 and haven’t made it yet – so a travel guide, I said to myself, might be just the thing and I signed up. This morning I was working on Ohio as usual, heard a ‘thunk’ and Beatrice scurried off to see what the mailman left us. I love getting mail – the convenience and speed of the Internet not withstanding – it is great to get real mail.  I don’t like junk mail any more than you do and I dispatch it immediately and don’t let it stack up.  But, mail – a card or note from a friend or family member – a real treasure.  And, something I’ve ordered – well, hooray!  We have the most quaint and wonderful mail delivery system in our 1960’s quaint houses – my mail comes through a slot in the kitchen wall and lands (mostly) in a basket on my vintage aqua kitchen counter.  Today the ‘thunk’ was that Iowa Travel Guide. And, it is a beauty.
Anyone who is going near Iowa anytime soon – I highly recommend ordering one. I also received a very good Iowa map.  Not excited yet – check this out:   I hope my children and grandchildren each order one to see where Mom/Gram was born.  To one daughter and her children a special reminder as she was born there and is a 6th generation Iowan.  Wouldn't it be fun to plan an Iowa family reunion.
Looking at the guide I might have to plan a 3 year trip to see it all.  Can’t do that, but I would love to hit the highlights.  When I was about 8 years old my folks took me on just such a trip.  I remember the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend and the Bily Clock Museum. Maybe Grandpa Disney can remember more. I also remember well Ledges State Park, the Amana Colonies, the Pella tulip festival, Lake Okoboji, Storm Lake, the Sergeant Floyd Monument, water-skiing and fishing on the M-i-ss-i-ss-i-pp-i.
Summer vacation with my grandparents was -- well, Guttenberg was heaven to me.
Guttenberg on the Mississippi
Photo: Iowa Tourism Office

It was a good life and I couldn’t wait to leave.  I had places to go and things to do; and like Ellen Raskin’s children’s story “Nothing Ever Happens On My Block” I didn’t see anything exciting happening in Iowa.  Thomas Wolfe wrote that you can’t go home.  But, ya’ll know I’m a Bon Jovi fan and the song says – “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”  


I’m ready for that visit.

YouTube - Bon Jovi & Sugarland - Who says you can't go home (live) - drycountytrade0tk

1 comment:

  1. Travel Iowa Sandra - Thank you so much for sharing your blog with us! SO glad you got your guide and it has inspired you, not only to write a blog post about it, but also to plan a trip! Please let us know if we can help you along the way!


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