Three Thoughts for Thursday

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Gravel Road showcases triple Iowa nice in this week's 3 thoughts.


  1. On our last really rainy day, it started to pour. I was stranded in the grocery store. Until the man in line behind me opened his stadium umbrella and walked with me to my car. How’s that for Iowa nice?
  2. A few hours later, the hostess at Applebee’s stuck her head out the door as my small umbrella failed to protect Mom, her walker, and I on our way to the restaurant entrance. “I’ll bring a bigger umbrella,” she said. By then, we had reached the door, but we appreciated her offer. More Iowa nice.
  3. When I arrived at home that evening, our mail delivery person had sealed our mail and a large package in a large plastic bag and placed it on the stoop beside the kitchen door. Iowa nice. That’s how we roll around here.

What’s nice about where you live? Leave a comment.


The Fly Over Life on This Fantastic Friday

The Fly Over Life on This Fantastic Friday

When I wrote this post I was grateful for fly over country. 5 years later, I'm still grateful and a little bit more so.

For those of you who don’t live in fly over country, this Fantastic Friday post explains what you are missing.

You know how jet setters dismiss the land between the east and west coasts as fly-over country? They scoff at what they consider a wasteland of cornfields, a vast expanse where nothing worthwhile happens, nothing of consequence is produced, no one of importance lives. Well, I love living in fly-over country, no matter what the jet setters think of it. But, the past week exposed an unexpected truth.

We live a fly-over life.

A midweek visit to my son and new daughter was void of the hoopla that characterized much of the last two years: no illness, thus no dramatic health cures; no happy announcements, thus no need to plan big celebrations; no crises, thus no anxiety-racked discussions. Instead, in our time together we talked about jobs, exchanged recipes, played with the dog, and went to bed by 9:00 PM.

Pleasant, but boring.

A perusal of our weekend activities confirms life’s fly-over status. I made cookies for upcoming church events and cleaned some drawers in the kitchen – without burning a single cookie or pinching myself with kitchen utensils. Hiram reinstalled the sink in the upstairs bathroom without cracking the porcelain or ruining the newly laid tile. We comparison shopped for a new refrigerator, washer, and dryer – and found what we needed for less than expected.

Appreciated, but boring.

A phone call to our daughter and new son was uneventful. She’s keeping up in school and making progress with her online, custom sewing business; no need for me to swoop in and chair a planning pow wow. He likes his job; no need for encouraging words to buck him up. They’re looking ahead to next year, hunting online for an apartment near the campus they’ve move to next August; no need for parental reminders to think about the future.

Reassuring, but boring.

I live a beyond-the-excitement, happily-ever-after, fly-over existence made possible by the exciting lives of others:
American revolutionaries
hardy pioneers
abolitionists and Civil War soldiers
WWI doughboys
survivors of the Great Depression
Tom Brokaw’s greatest generation
war veterans
my Alaskan homesteader in-laws years
my courageous and determined parents

Because of them, Hiram I will spend a quiet, fly-over Thanksgiving with our daughter and new son in their tiny, college apartment. We’ll talk about work, exchange recipes, do a few odd jobs, and be in bed by 9:00 PM.

I am exceeding grateful for those who made possible this boring, fly-over life. You?

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Three Thoughts for Thursday

The Donald, Black Hawk helicopters, and fly over country in this week's 3 thoughts.

  1. I did not go to see The Donald who was stumping in my home town last weekend during our annual Pufferbilly Days celebration. My own hair issues are as much as I can handle.
  2. Two new Black Hawk helicopters, costing 15 million dollars each, have moved into the National Guard HQ down the road from our house. My major super power is the ability to unintentionally destroy expensive equipment deemed indestructible. Therefore, I do not plan to bake and deliver a pie to welcome the copters to the neighborhood.
  3. Between The Donald’s visit and our new Black Hawk neighbors, perhaps it’s time to stop calling Iowa fly over country.
Ten Reasons to Walk on Spring Mornings

Ten Reasons to Walk on Spring Mornings

I’m an early riser and try to start each day with a walk. The practice is good exercise in every season, but a spring stroll is also a delight to the senses. Here are ten reasons I love to walk outside on a fresh spring morning.

10.  Sunrise.

9.    The yellow-green tree leaves are such a happy color.

8.    The red buds blooming in the wild ravine down by the bridge.

7.     Frogs singing in a pond dappled with early morning sunshine.

6.     Knock-kneed fawns running every which way when their mothers turn tail and run.

5.     Wild plum trees blooming along the fence rows.

4.     The scent of lilacs on the breeze.

3.     Cardinals singing in the treetops.

2.     Crab apple petals turning the air pink and white as they float through the air.

1.     The new growth surrounds me with the promise of Easter – new life in Christ.