Iowa Day 3

My sleep wasn’t as sound as the previous night, and the couch seemed lumpier. I’m not sure if the gray of dawn woke me, or the rattle of the freight train. The sound of a train is unique.. after it passes by, there is a trail of sound that follows, fading into a low sigh.

I enjoyed some quiet time, then fixed a breakfast of stewed apples and fried eggs. The temperature was in the upper 60’s and lacking the humidity of back home, so I took a morning walk down to the water tower and back. I love experiencing new places on foot – there is always so much to see that is often missed in a car. Discoveries today included a very realistic statue of a dog in a flower garden and a front yard that was completely converted into a vegetable garden.  I wonder about the people behind the walls, each with their unique experience.

I walk past a school and a cemetery on my left, and apartment buildings on my right. I see maple trees, lots of evergreen trees, a chipmunk! and the water tower, which is one of those great ones with legs that you can stand under. The grass in the field is the soft kind, that I would have loved to lie down in and roll around in. The dampness of it kept me from making a spectacle of myself!

The rest of the morning was spent visiting Rachel’s good friend Christi and her three daughters – a 4-year-old and identical twin 2-year-olds. Rachel is their godmother, and they were very happy to see her. One of the little ones even warmed up to me. I had seven children, but can’t imagine the energy it would take to have two babies at once! I enjoyed the drive there and back through Iowa’s famous farmland, and the visit was fun and relaxing.

After another lunch in a cafe called The Cafe, I took Rachel home to take care of some business things she needed to attend to, and set off on my own. My destination: Reiman Gardens on the University of Iowa Campus. My favorite part of the place was the small butterfly observatory, the most plentiful and very beautiful butterfly being what I later identified as the common blue morpho.

I enjoyed an afternoon walk through the gardens but it was a bit early in the season for flowers, and it got very warm, up near 80. The most interesting thing I found there was a statue of “the world’s largest gnome”!

I went back to the Main Street area to see if I’d missed any good stores there, and found Random Goods, which I highly recommend if you like vintage clothes and jewelry. They had other odds and ends of old dishes and miscellaneous, too, and I bought a bracelet, a scarf, and several tops, for less than $15 total! I love vintage stores and clothes!

I made one more stop – Wheatsfield Cooperative, the natural food store. I wanted to see if I could find a healthy snack for the plane ride, and I found it. They have a wonderful bulk section, and I was like a kid in a candy store. Only the fact that I have one small suitcase kept me in check! I got cashews, chocolate chips, and cranberries to make my own trail mix, and a small bag of loose licorice root for tea.

I certainly got in plenty of walking today, which is something I want to keep doing when I get back home, in preparation for my Montana trip in two and a half weeks! It was nice to get back to Rachel and just hang out for the rest of the evening. I had had such a large lunch that I opted for tea and toast for supper, and enjoyed the Chocolate Peppermint tea that I had picked up along my journeys.

We wrapped up the evening with Starship Troopers, which neither of us had seen. Both of us enjoy sci-fi, and I especially like the cheesy type. This movie, made in 1997, is based on a 1959 Robert Heinlein book. I was an avid Heinlein fan back in the 60’s and 70’s, and the movie was well-done and enjoyable. The best kind of movies are the ones that make you laugh and also have scary tense moments, and this one didn’t let me down.

Settling down for my last night here, a light rain was falling, the freight trains kept running, and I felt a deep sense of satisfaction.

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