Thursday, June 25, 2009
Summer Nights, Summer Days
There is an abundance of fireflies out in the yard tonight. They are a beautiful sight, and are something I will extremely miss when I return home. I am sitting on the porch, listening to soft music, and enjoying a cold drink. It’s 9:30, the air is still, humid, and warm. Crickets are singing their tunes of serenity. There really is nothing like enjoying a mid-summer night on the porch in a small Midwestern town. It is everything I expected it to be and I have adjusted well to my new Iowa home.
I am very fortunate to have been paired with JoAnn for the summer. I don’t think it would have worked out any better if I had hand-picked her myself. We get along extremely well, and share a lot in common with each other. When I returned from the race, I sat and told her all about it. Then, together, we went to her back yard and picked a bowl full of blackberries. I sat at my computer, working on some research for a magazine deadline we are quickly approaching. As I clicked away at the keyboard, the smell of blackberry cobbler filled the air. We shared a midday dessert, cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream. JoAnn frequently teases that it is her goal to corrupt me this summer. I suspect she will succeed in corrupting my strictly non-dessert diet.
I have been politely informed that my vocabulary won’t fly around here. Evidently I am sitting on the “veranda” watching “lightning bugs.” Other words I have added to my Midwestern dictionary: “supper,” “pop,” “brat” (pronounced “brought” as in the sandwich, not the rug rat) and “yup.” During conversation, I am used to people commonly using “yeah” as a filler word. Here, they’ve got a handle on “yup,” which really is pronounced, "yip." It cracks me up! And apparently I have broken an Iowa state law a few times. You aren’t allowed to make u-turns out here. Granted, there isn’t much use for them on the two-lane highways that run north, south, east and west.
My first encounter with the “noon whistle” nearly made a town fool out of me. I was sitting on the “veranda” with my neighbor, Shannon, when the whistle went off to inform the town of the noon hour. I however, was under the impression that it was informing the town to take cover, and would have done so had Shannon not been there to let me know otherwise. I am extremely fearful of tornadoes, and the weather we’ve been experiencing during my stay here has not calmed my fears. The storms are frequent and many.
There have been a few things that took me a while to get used to, but the food is not one of them. Staying in one of the top pork producing states, I have encountered some of the most amazing pork since I’ve been here. I am afraid I will leave just short of corn harvest, though.