I learned this within days of meeting him. Hours after that, I learned of his love for his home state.
I'm not sure what tipped me off, but I think it might have been his penchant for referring to Iowa as "The Promised Land."
Please be warned: If you are neither from Iowa nor currently live in Iowa and you happen to meet my husband, you will be treated to a series of lectures. I lovingly refer to them as "the Iowa sermons."
Sermon titles include:
- The Iowa State Fair
- Iowa State University
- Cyclone Athletics
- Iowa Corn
- Iowa Blizzards
- The Four Distinct Seasons
- Iowa vs Kansas
- Iowa vs Connecticut
- Iowa vs Any Other State, Province, or Country
Yes, you read that right. Dirt.
Ahem. What I meant to say (and the way they actually phrased it), was Iowa soil.
It got to the point where any time I heard them start up on that "rich, black, Iowa soil" I would roll my eyes and start joking about black gold.
Fast-forward several years. Derek and I and our two children have moved to Iowa. We have bought a house. We have a backyard, where I am kneeling, getting ready to prepare the ground for a modest vegetable garden. I dig my rake into the ground, pulling up grass. After freeing the allocated section of this grass, I am greeted with the sight of this famous dirt. It is black, and as far as dirt goes, yes, it's pretty. But I'm still mentally rolling my eyes.
Then I dig my hands into the dirt. And I encounter soil. Rich, moist, loamy soil.
I flashback to watching my parents spend hours trying to install a garden in the backyard of my southern Kansas home. A high clay content and flint rock make raised bed gardens a must down there.
I look around at the flowers growing in my flower beds. Irises in the spring, roses, lilies, bleeding hearts, hostas, hibiscus and more in the summer. These flowers can't seem to help but thrive in this beautiful Iowa dirt.
Excuse me. This beautiful Iowa soil.