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.
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.
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?