Monday, April 4, 2011

State Loyalty

Derek was raised in Iowa.  He is an Iowan.

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
  • B-Bop's
  • Iowa vs Kansas
  • Iowa vs Connecticut
  • Iowa vs Any Other State, Province, or Country
One particular sermon that I heard with some regularity, not just from Derek but also from his family, was on the topic of Iowa dirt.

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.


  1. Ok, I am officially jealous of your dirt. Loved the picture. Is that one of the day lillies that came from the farm?

  2. Nope, those were already here. However, I've been cleaning up the flower beds the past few days, and it looks like the Huning lilies are coming back beautifully! I was a little worried they wouldn't make it- now all I have to do is yell at Atticus to stop stepping on my heirloom flowers.

  3. I wouldn't worry about Atticus stepping on them. They are extremely hardy, having had cows, hunters, farmers, etc stepping on them for years. And since they have survived for years in Kansas dirt, they ought to really thrive in your nice soil.

  4. I would scoff at the "soil" but it would only be out of jealousy. However I ALSO have amazing soil... that came from a bag. I'm scared to put my little peat pot flowers out into the big bad yard.

  5. I laughed as I read this. Derek is a bit obsessed with his love of all things Iowa (the Cyclone variety not the evil Hawkeye variety...) Sad to say, but I too miss that state. I guess that is what living on the East Coast does to a person...


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