Friday, December 14, 2012

"Is this heaven?"

"No, it's Iowa." That's what we think the dog's thinking since coming on this holiday to the Midwest. He has the run of the yard and the house. Kathy mothering him like he's an extra grandchild. I imagine the day we're to leave, he's going to wave goodbye to us at the door and stay with the lady who makes him organic scrambled eggs when we run out of dog food.

Rain is falling outside, strange for December in the Midwest. Of course I can't help but think of global warming when we have this weather, especially with the temperatures passing the seventy degree mark in the last couple of weeks. Balmy is not a word for Iowa in December.

Iowa folks are funny. They all think you know every tiny town in the state. The other night we were at a second hand store in Iowa City, and the girl told me she grew up in some little town that I didn't recognize, and then mentioned another tiny town I didn't know. I'd said already that I wasn't from Iowa and then said, "I could name hundreds of towns in North Dakota but I'm not that good at Iowa." She just went silent.

People are funny. Iowans are from Iowa for the most part and they are sort of dumb-founded when you don't know every street corner in the state. Not that they are not nice, but it is a funny thing. My mom told me that before about Iowans. I could pinpoint quite a lot of little towns in Iowa on a map, which I think is decent considering my feeble relationship with the state.

Still I am enjoying my time here. It took a while to slow down after the two hectic months of working and running around out east, but I've finally settled down and had time to mentally relax. It's a difficult thing, half-living out of your car for years at a time, living one place, working another, wondering where you belong, trying to make your life fit into another's, hoping everything makes sense.

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