Rob and I recently returned from a trip to Iowa to visit family. During each trip we take to the heartland of America, I'm struck with the sheer beauty of the middle of our country. The pace is slower, the people friendlier, the land is flatter, and the traffic is non-existent. Rob and I do seriously consider retiring on a small farm in Iowa and this trip certainly reminded us of our dreams. I am rendered speechless by the images of black earth, green crops, and the sight of one farm for every few miles.
Interspersed with bucolic scenes are images like this
A community pool where kids ride their bikes, drop them and run into the pool (at least that's what I imagine happens, based on the image)- not worrying about locking their bikes or needing parental supervision.
A memorial that honors the military service of every member (alive and deceased) of the community (the names are etched in black granite).
Incidentally, this small town (Parkersburg, IA) is the same town featured on the ESPY awards in reference to the honoree of the Arthur Ashe award, Ed Thomas. This town of about 2000 was decimated by an F-5 tornado on May 25, 2008. The town has pulled together to rebuild, briefly pausing to bury their beloved football coach and mentor, and continues to move forward, in a exemplary symbol of courage. This is one of the many reasons we love Iowa.
Also, there is this
Many of the people we love, live in Iowa
lots of them, actually (this is Rob's moms family...most of them)
We had a great trip, lots of relaxing, and even more food! We enjoyed spending precious time with our kids, other family, and just had lots of fun....here are a few of our pics.