Scenes from Iowa

I did two talks in Iowa — the first one on Coralville, the second in Independence. There was a downpour at the time of the talk in Coralville, which resulted in three inches of water in the parking lot at the library. I imagine more people would have showed up if the weather had been more pleasant, but even still, there were around 60 people there. 

 
We did have beautiful weather for the event in Independence. At least 134 people showed up for that talk. They were spilling out of all three doors into the community room, and several people actually sat in the corner underneath the coat rack. Two Amish people came to the talk — an unmarried woman and her father. We were talking after the event. I told them I had cousins in Cashton, Wisconsin and I remembered that the Cashton community was made up of people from Geauga County, Ohio, and one from Iowa. They said that the Amish who moved to Cashton actually came out of their community. Then the woman said, "Who are your cousins?" I told her who they were, and she said, Gid's Monroe (one of my cousins who lived at that farm in Wisconsin where I mentioned my aunt and uncle raised fifteen children) was married to her cousin. The people standing around were amazed at the connection, but these are the kinds of things those of us who grew up Amish take for granted — we know there is a connection somewhere, if we talk long enough to find it.
 
We had two hosts in Independence — Kara Vance and Laura Blaker. They were delightful to work with, and were very pleased to have such a big turnout. At the end of the night they took a great deal of pleasure in knowing that David and I broke our record for how many books we sold at a single event. Kara has a very dry sense of humor, and with a straight face she said to Laura, "How are you going to fall asleep tonight with that smile on your face?" Maybe that is Iowa humor, but I found that a funny thing to say. Some people have all the good lines!
 
David and I did get a chance to see some of Iowa. We were amazed at how many cornfields there were in the state. Many stretched for as far as the eye can see. Below are several scenes we took in that day.
 
 
Such beauty!
 
 Like many Amish communities, the one in Kalona must not allow rubber tires.
 
What a nifty way to keep the grass down on the roadsides.

 

Nice view!
 
Curious little goats! Now I'm curious — why are most of their ears missing? 
 
Take your pick — left or right. I love crossroads. There are so many possibilities either way… 
 
 This is such a typical Amish farm, complete with the martin house (birds).

 

 Another view I cannot get enough of…
 
And another. The clouds were so beautiful that day.
 
Our country is just so big and there are so many beautiful places. Have you traveled to many different states? Which is your favorite? 
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10 thoughts on “Scenes from Iowa”

  1. Magnolia Tea, thank you… it looked like they had them cut off, and I just could not figure out why anyone would do such a thing.

    Literary, thanks for the compliment.

    Ian, it only makes sense when you think of it from an Amish point of view. The rubber tires are not allowed in many communities because they don’t want their people to use the tractors like they would cars to run errands, go to town to buy groceries, etc. Theoretically, the steel wheels will keep people from doing that. However, recently I heard of someone Amish actually driving a steel-wheeled tractor on the road, which is wicked hard on the roads.

    Most of the Amish decisions against certain technologies have to do with how it will affect the community as a whole. And judging by the way people come together out of necessity when their electricity is out, I’d say the Amish have some things right.

    The rule among some Amish communities I have the hardest time with is the one that allows scooters (I’ve heard, though I’ve not had this confirmed — that someone Amish invented the scooter) but not bicycles. It is so silly when one looks at the function of them, they don’t seem that different — bicycles have gears and peddles, scooters don’t — what’s the big deal. Well, the elders in the communities that don’t allow bicycles reason that you can go a lot farther with a bicycle, and they don’t want their young people going so far from home.

    These are the very rules that drove me out — the limits on personal freedom. And besides, as one person pointed out to me recently, “I don’t know too many people who cross state lines on bicycles.”

    Amen on that one.

  2. I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I think the pictures of Iowa are lovely. Iowa is a state I would love to visit because of the beautiful farm country. My family and I prefer the New England states esp. Maine and New Hampshire. We love the rustic beauty and the strength of its people. I follow your blog as of last week and will be back again!

    Manuela

  3. Manuela, welcome to the blog. I love New England, too! When I left my home in Ohio, I went to Vermont, not knowing a soul. Thirty-some years later I have many dear friends there. Since we moved to Massachusetts we sure do miss them.

    Happy reading and I hope to hear from you again!

    Have a wonderful week,
    Saloma

  4. Fear not Saloma, those goats are a special breed that don’t have ears. So they weren’t hurt in any way to get like that. My uncle used to have a goat dairy with hundreds of goats and had a lot of this breed. It always made my ears feel funny just looking at them!

  5. Hi Mary Ann,

    It’s good to hear from you. Magnolia Tea mentioned that they were the LaMancha breed. I have yet to look them up. So, do they still have ears, and we just can’t see them? Or are they deaf?

    Saloma

  6. I wish I had known you were in Iowa! I hope you’ll be up in the Chicago area soon, I would really like to go to one of your speaking engagements. I recently finished your book and I can’t wait to read the sequels…you have a wonderful gift for writing Saloma.

    Best wishes,

    Lindsay

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