We spent three days in Northwestern Iowa visiting my sister and her family, who live on a small, extremely dreamy farm. They live in Dutch country, which is to say the young boys are tall, strapping, and very clean cut, the farms and in-town homes are quaint and well maintained, and the churches are all Dutch Reformed.
As in other visits to my friend’s farm in Ellensburg, WA, Ruthie spent the majority of her time barefoot and wearing a sundress or swimsuit as she and Thomas frolicked around the property. There was seemingly miles of well groomed lawn on which to do somersaults, as well as patches of tall grass in which to explore.
On the North side of the property is the obligatory patch of trees to block the frigid winter winds, on the South side of the house stand three grand trees to shade the house from the summer sun, and all around the perimeter was a cut-lawn path of grass where my sister and her dogs walk for exercise. They are surrounded by corn fields that are farmed by someone else, but this time of year it provides for a lush green landscape view.
Just days before our arrrival one of the two sheep had birthed a lamb, and two of the cats had birthed a litter of kittens. What more could one ask for on a trip to a farm? We were all in a state of awe and wonder at the beauty, the newness of life, and the fairy-tale existence we city-folk like to think those country-cousins live.
We spent all of Monday evening in a town far away watching baseball. In Iowa, the school baseball season is in the early part of the summer (not in the spring during the school year), so hundreds of families gathered at a baseball complex to watch freshman, JV, and Varsity games of girls’ softball and boys’ baseball – with some parents (including my sister and brother-in-law) straining to see what the excitement was on one field while sitting in the stands of another field.
I felt very home grown middle America that day. All we needed was some apple pie.
It was very difficult to leave the farm with its cute red buildings and baaah-ing sheep, especially knowing it may be several years before we can return. But I’m thankful my children will have the memories of visiting Auntie Jody’s farm, and seeing real live sheep that they have so far only seen in books.
See all the photos here.