Monday, September 8, 2008

trip to Iowa

I've just returned from an unplanned trip to Iowa. My maternal grandmother of 96 passed away Sunday a week ago. I was there for a week for the funeral and to be with family. My mom, dad and sister drove up from Texas and met me at my aunt and uncle's house. The service was very nice and there is a lot to be said for a small town funeral. It really reminds you of what a family truly is. It had been 8 years since my last visit up there and it was great to see all my extended family even though the circumstances weren't of the pleasant kind.
It's a 13 hour drive for me and I stopped in St. Louis on the way up there. I drove straight through on the way back leaving Iowa at 4:45 in the morning to get back at about 7:15. I return to work tomorrow.
I took some pictures while there to share.

This was taken from the front porch of my aunt and uncle's house at about 7:00 in the morning. The silo is the neighbors farm across the road. They are now raising llamas instead of cattle or pigs. I wanted to go and visit, but just didn't get to it.

This is my uncle Kenny mowing the yard. Everything is so green there compared to Georgia. They have had more than enough rain this year. Their farm is about 30 miles southwest of Cedar Rapids which had a major flood a little over a month ago. They've had so much rain that a lot of the crops were planted later than normal because the soil was too wet.

This is a horse and buggy parked outside the general store (called Stringtown) in Kalona, Iowa. I bought a load of spices while there that they buy in bulk, repackage and sell for a great price. My $40 dollars worth filled an entire paper grocery bag.

My sister and I took a walk to photograph and collect some wildflowers (my aunt calls them ALL weeds). We think they are pretty. If you look closely in the bottom center of this picture you will see a remanant "weed" from when a particular plant was cultivated as a cash crop in Iowa. (rhymes with kemp) No, it's not the illicit kind, just the kind you would harvest for the fiber.

This is a flower we had never seen in Iowa before. Not sure what it is but I really love the lantern seed pods.

Here is a gathering of beetles on a milkweed pod.

My aunt sent me home with tomatoes from her garden so we had BLT's for lunch today. She always has such beautiful tomatoes in her garden every year and they are sooo good when they are picked ripe from the garden.

Yesterday was our 7th anniversary (copper). I bought Michael a hammered copper humidor and a little shell dish. The shell was so tarnished, and not in the pretty way, it took me a few hours just to polish it . It really did polish up nicely though.

The humidor, called a Rumidor, is in great condition. There was some really nice patina, on one side, but the other was actually kind of gross looking, so i just polished the whole thing and will let it acquire a new, more pleasant patina all over.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. The pictures of Iowa are beautiful.

    Happy anniversary to the two of you.

  2. I second everything Sandy just said. I would LOVE to take a trip out to the midwest. Wayne and I have a dream of buying an RV and just driving all over this beautiful country!

    Hope you two had a GREAT anniversary!

  3. I am sorry for your loss as well.... Of course we missed you at Knitch!!!
    The farm looks so peaceful a place that you could just take in the fresh air and scenery and knit.

    Also Happy anniversary!!!


  4. I love the pictures and I am sorry you had to go to Iowa. I was thinking about you. Happy Anniversary! And btw - you got an award! Check out my blog!

  5. I send you my condolences.

    The pictures are great. And the flower that you have never seen beofre is actually a Tomatillo, I have one growing on my porch right now.