Thursday, June 30, 2011

I miss Iowa

I do believe I have jet lag, 
or van lag, 
or whatever you want to call it. 
What day is it anyways?

I'm tired.
I miss Iowa.

I miss the pretty.


I miss the places.


I miss the people.

I miss the fun.

This is where the Iowa magic began-- on my cousin's farm. 

 My gracious cousin, and her husband, 
made room for 5 extra adults in the house, plus Josie.  
(Better hospitality than a five star hotel anyday.)
By the way, we now know that Josie talks in her sleep, cries in her sleep,
sits up in her sleep, smacks her lips in her sleep,
and grinds her teeth in her sleep.  
(Not good for the sleeping.)

The other 13 cousins had a camp-o-rama in tents...

...where they stayed up late
and the boys sang songs for the girls.

We all helped with the chores.  
Okay, that's just not true. 
I'm sure we were a huge distraction for the chores--us and our cameras everywhere.  
But I did walk a calf for about two minutes! Does that count?

  Gabby walked him too, because we are brave like that. 

 "niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice cowie!"

And does kitten petting count for chores?  
Because the kids put in a lot of kitten petting hours.

  How about goat petting? 
Jacob in particular seems to have a way with goats.

Oh! What about running the dogs?  

Soccer with the dog?

Catch with the dog? 
Fetch with the dog?
"Goooooooooooooooood doggie!"
Now drop the pinecone.

We sat outside and ate Lynnette's farm fresh food:

 Strawberries, picked on the farm. 
Lettuce, fresh from the garden. 
Iowa corn, frozen from last years harvest. 
Eggs, from the hen house. 

 And the beef.  Nothing beats the beef.  
Except for maybe the homemade ice cream
made with the home grown strawberries
and the home grown eggs.
And let's not forget about this piece of almond bliss.

There is just so much more I could say, so many pictures to share.
I really don't know how to end.
I really don't want it to end.

there's one more fellow I will to tell you about.


No, not my brother,
the steer.

 You better believe it!
He's fo realz.
Well, he was real. 
Now he's stuffed and displayed in my Uncle's new barn/museum.
Bruno was a living breathing gigantic 7 foot tall, 15 foot long, 3440 lb.,
horned white steer that scared the ba-jee-bees out of me
when he was alive on the farm 
and I was only 4 feet tall.

But now we are all bigger and braver
and we take pictures of our children with him
like the fabulous tourist attraction that he is.

Good times, good times.
How I wish I could just pick up and go back any old time.
Seems I've been a little blue since we've been home.

I miss Iowa.

Looks like we all miss Iowa.

Hanna took 95% of these pictures.  If it's pretty, or cool, or perfect, it's hers.  Thank you, Hanna!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Road Trip

When you tell someone that you're taking a
summer road trip to Iowa,
it's almost like they feel sorry for you.
Why would we drive 14 hours from one small town to visit another?

To cultivate some roots. Mathilda's roots.

And I love it.
How can you not fall in country love with this beautiful place?
You can see it coming from miles away.


I remember Mom getting almost giddy, telling stories about growing up here.
Like the story of the traveling gypsies, selling their wares.
From the farm, they could see the gypsy wagons coming down the long road,
and the family would run inside, pull the curtains shut, lock the doors,
and hide inside until the gypsies passed.


In a few days, we'll gather around tables and talk about the people 
of generations past who lived off this land and called this place home.
There will be stories and pictures for every generation--
from gingham and feedsacks to bellbottoms and big hair.
We'll fill up on memories and tears and laughter--
and hopefully, Aunt Judy's roast beef sandwiches.


Oh! And those wonderful names. They just don't name them like they used to:

Edna Julia
  Henry James

I guess people don't normally have 16 children now days either.


Look at all those faces, each with a story to tell. One of those girls is my Momma. 
Just look for the girl near the middle that looks a bit like me, and you'll find her.

See that circle thing in the front of the picture?
Somebody with more farm smarts would remember what that is called. 
We'll take our picture there. We always do.

We've been coming here for a long time.
On one visit, when  I was young enough to believe him,
Uncle Milt told me he'd sneak a kitten into my suitcase before we left.
I was a more than a little disappointed when we got home.

It was hard coming back the first time without Mom and Dad.
But I always feel very, very loved in this place.

It's a piece of my Mom.

So, it's a piece of me too.

Corn fields and cousins, here we come!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


His name is Farrand.
I love that name.
Have you ever met a Farrand?
Probably not,
unless you knew
my Dad.

If you knew my Dad,
you would say that he was a man of few words.
The words he spoke were well chosen and wise.

If you knew my Dad,
you would say he was gentle, patient, honorable, and kind.
 He loved his family and God.

If you knew my Dad,
you would say that he was the finest carpenter around.
 His talents are well remembered and renown.

If you knew my Dad,
you would say that he was a man of deep faith--
a faith made stronger through his life's trials and tragic losses.

Yet, if you knew my Dad,
you would also say that his handsome blue eyes always sparkled.
His presence made us feel safe and loved.

If you knew my Dad,
you would say that he loved music.
The classical music never ceased --
in our home, in his truck, in the workshop, and on the work site.


If you knew my Dad,
you would say that he loved nature.
Dad could name any tree, plant, weed, wildflower, or bird.

If you knew my Dad,
you would say that he could make anything and fix anything.
I've heard many stories of his creative genius.

If you knew my Dad,
you would say that he was respected:
 for his craftsmanship, his integrity,
his generosity, and his servant heart.

If you knew my Dad,
you would say that his smile was warm
and his hugs were a squeeze from the side.

 If you called him Dad,

 you would say you were

I am so proud to be your daughter.
As a little girl, I always imagined you would build my house one day.
Now, I  imagine you building with Jesus, preparing a place for us.
 I can't wait for your squeeze from the side.