Father's Day

Trip Start Jun 17, 2009
Trip End Jun 19, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Iowa
Sunday, June 21, 2009

The day dawned overcast and misting.  But it was Father's Day.  It would be a special day as my parents spend their summers at Steamboat Lake in northern Minnesota but especially because I had the perfect joke up my sleeve for my father.  Call it a little payback for all the times he's teased me.

My cousin Ron invited us over to tour his new house before church so we headed out to his farm again.  The interior is huge and will be a dream come true for this family once all the work is finished this month.  Congratulations!

Then on to Immanuel Lutheran Church - my family's church for 3 generations and the church I was baptized in.  Driving through the country, this stone structure can be seen rising out of the cornfields which is exactly where it stands, in the country.  Family and friends built the church in the early 1950's and my father began his masonry trade on this enormous project.  My maternal grandmother was organist and choir director for a number of years and I can still picture her playing the grand pipe organ up in the choir loft with the sunlight streaming through the colorful stained glass windows.  Both of my parents attended church, Sunday School, Luther League and social functions here as did I before we moved to the farm north of Buffalo Center.  Many of my relatives are buried in the small cemetery nearby.

After church we returned to Buffalo and stopped at the Drivers Choice Restaurant for their noontime buffet.  The waitress seemed particularly familiar to me until I realized it was Pam from my high school class!

Then it was off to my Aunt Louise & Uncle Virgil's place south of town for an afternoon visit.  In addition to farming, they have also run a fruit and vegetable farm for many years.  Much to my delight my aunt served a lunch (midwest's version of an afternoon 'snack') of vanilla Blue Bunny ice cream, fresh garden strawberries, tea and coffee.  Three foods on my list checked off!  It was such a hot, humid, sticky afternoon, with tornado watch warnings, that lunch was a very welcome treat.  My Uncle Dean came as well as my cousin Valerie and her daughter so it was a nice afternoon visiting again with family.

Then it was time to present my dad with his Father's Day gift.  A few weeks ago he made mention that his old fish finder had broken and how much he would love to have a new one.  So I took note of the exact model and decided with my mother and brother to get him that for a combination Father's Day and birthday gift as his birthday is in June also.  One day I had a brillant flash of genuis -- if he's looking for fish while out on the lake, why doesn't he just stick his head under the water and look for himself rather than relying on an electronic contraption?  Bingo, an evil idea was born.  So on that muggy afternoon in the presence of family, I approached my father, wished him a very happy Father's Day and acknowledged the fact that his fish finder was busted.  And, I added, we thought it would be appropriate to replace it with something more practical and I handed him his very own snorkel and goggles.  The look on his face was absolutely precious and he laughed just as hard as everyone else at the joke.  When we could finally calm down, he received the 'real' fish finder he wanted.

My parents and I returned to Lola's Cottage to pack up as we would be going our separate ways tomorrow morning.  Mom & Dad would be returning to Steamboat Lake while I would drive back to Des Moines to pick up my boss at the airport and continue on with my business trip for 3 days.  I will still have one more person to see, Lynda who is a good friend from college.  She now lives in Cedar Rapids and it works out perfectly we'll end up in that city tomorrow evening.  My weekend was packed with visits to see family, friends and local sites.  I was lucky enough to check off everything that was on my must-eat list and then some.

Growing up on a farm in rural north central Iowa may seem boring to some but I am glad to have experienced it.  After living in 6 metropolitan areas since I left home after college, I know I wouldn't be able to return to that lifestyle but I do enjoy visiting and reestablishing my roots.  I will always be proud to be a farm girl.

Following is a poem titled Iowa Child written by Sarah Hall Mancey that I dearly love.

I am an Iowa child
Part and product of the land on which I grew
Flat and open and stright, like the farm roads that bordered the corn
Friendly and receptive, like the rich, black soil that grows the corn
Simple, and plain, but productive, like the fields of soy beans and hay

Yes, I am an Iowa child
There have been times when I have kept it hidden
Pretending somewhere, something, someone else
But today I stand with it
Drawing upon the strength of it -
Acknowledging the unique gifts I share with it

Of course, an Iowa child has not many deep, intriguing forests within -
Not many clear, refreshing lakes to draw upon
No lofty, grand mountain peaks to soar from
No yawning canyons to descend -
And I know my Iowa child must live
And comes to terms with the part of me
That is controlled, precise, yearning to be perfect -
Like the squared-off, ruler-straight rows of hybrid seed corn

Pehaps I will never be as exciting, as spontaneous,
as a tumbling Colorado mountain stream
As magnificent as a crashing California ocean wave
As serene and stately as a Minnesota pine tree

But no matter
I am who I am
An Iowa child
And that is enough
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