Category: Iowa

in which you get to visit the best place on earth. lucky you.

After the End of the World

Mom is dying and Halloween goes on.After the doctor broke the news to my mom and dad and me that mom would die soon, I held onto the 15 cent spiral notebook like it was a life raft. There isn’t enough time to ask and get answers to the really big questions in life before…

This is home

Happy at Happy Joe's in LeClaire

Two flights, five burgers at the Atlanta TGI Friday’s airport location. A bag of gummy Lifesavers, and of course, the real lifesavers: four headsets, an iPad and two iPhones with digital movies. One hour’s drive, and we are home. By home, I mean. HOME. Not Iowa, the place I grew up. I mean: here. Connecticut.…

Our Memories Become Theirs

How the Past Travels ForwardAt the beginning of my parenting experience, I said “no” often. The noise and the mess was a lot to handle. Not to mention the plain issue of just keeping track of where all the little live bodies were in space and time. And what they were planning to put in…

When I’m Wearing Home Shoes

These are my “home shoes.” I don’t mean slippers or anything like that. What I mean is: when I am wearing this shoe configuation — ie. tennis shoes and blue jeans — I feel “home.” It’s a cultural thing. And a family thing. Growing up, this is what we wore: white tennis shoes, blue jeans,…

More Mystery than Family

Louis Bonaventure Chanez and Margaret Salome Urban Chanez Agnes Schebler Hiegel and Alois Hiegel — While I was at my parents place for their 50th, I got a little melancholy about genealogy. I guess as we get older, it’s easier to see how our lives are like a filament in a lightbulb… Once we break…

A friend, her Emmy nom, and the afterlife

I’ve discovered that my friend Colleen Bradford Krantz and her colleague, Paul Kakert (who is from my hometown!) have had their documentary film, Train to Nowhere, nominated for a regional Emmy. I’m so proud of them, but not really for the recognition from the awards people. More than that, I am proud of Colleen and…

Back of My Hand

I-74Across the Mississippi–That Familiar vein throughMy life I Cross this morning east.Your still flatness hides Lonely strongCurrentsPulling me back. Day 9, A River of Stones You May Also Like:Iowa StormIn MidairI wonder what JFK would have to sayResidueAnger Comes

Iowa Storm

Into the northwest On a thick summer Evening come Leaden skies Like a bad dream. Day 5, The River of Stones. You May Also Like:The WallBack of My HandIn MidairResidueAnger Comes

You’re Not Sick. Go to School.

Or, A Tribute to My Bossy Mom My sibs and I basically had to be projectile puking or have an arm falling off in order to stay home from school when we were kids. Mom’s philosophy on life? Get on with it. Impatient and ready-to-go NOW, Mom was at the heel, pumping us with her…

On Home and Horizons

At least three times since I have been back to visit my parents, I have thought: “It’s nice to be home.” Then I remembered that I haven’t lived here since 20 years, half my life. Home comes when I feel my heart Drop its weight in relief At the sight of flat land running Forever…

The Swimming Lesson

Our town has a big indoor pool, circa 1943, that offers the world’s cheapest swimming lessons, for all ages. This is most excellent for us since we have 152 kids living at our house (Note: for those “interested parties,” who print out my blog for so-called legal reasons, please read the definition of hyperbole, as…

I-OH!-Weigh: Please Fly On Over

Moral: Don’t Write Drunk. Day 8, #reverb 10: The Beauty of Different (Thanks, Karen Walrond.) I live on the East Coast, in the glowing gutters of the GOLD COAST. I am not from here, however, and that makes me “different.” That’s right. I’m not from these parts. I’ve traveled and lived all over, but moving…

No One is Looking: On Letting Go

So I continue to take part in #Reverb10, a 31-day write-in. Here’s today’s post. Day 5 Prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Thanks, Alice.) This year, I let go of Kevin. Kevin is the name of the man I really and truly fell in love with in…

Lullaby for a Head Injury

Mr. Blue, you did it right But soon comes Mr. Night, creepin’ over Now his hand is on your shoulder Never mind, I’ll remember you this… I’ll remember you this way… — Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra After the sound of the skull cracking, and after the soft sound of my flesh finding…

On Being Midwestern: Nice

While I’m traveling around Canada and New England, I’ve put together some thoughts on HOME. Here’s today’s installment, ON BEING MIDWESTERN, Part 1. Nice. In my scan for ideas, I stumbled across this Columbus, Ohio message board, where a fair number of Midwesterners in that area of the country give their thoughts on what happens…