So Many Changes in a Week

I was born in Southwest Iowa and raised in Northwest Missouri. If you’ve seen the news lately, you will know that Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri are all underwater.

I’ve got to be honest with you here, seeing all those pictures of the “ocean’ that is engulfing the small towns, farms, and livelyhood of my family and friends that live in that area, yanks my heart and causes my tears to fall.

But here’s the thing, we are resiliant. I may not live in that area anymore, but it is still home. Yesterday, there was a New York Times article about Hamburg Iowa. I was born in Hamburg Iowa and my folks still live not to far from there in the town where I was raised. When “home” is hurting, it hurts.

When I read this beautiful post of Faye’s yesterday, I asked her “please, please, please may I reblog this?” Her words about Nebraskans are how I feel about so many people in all the areas affected by the flood. Kindness and being neighborly doesn’t stop at the state lines up there. Everything Faye says here is also true about people in Southwest Iowa and Northwest Missouri.

Thank you, Faye, for letting me share your insights, compassion, and love. I am so proud of where we are from and I want people to know it.

PS Mom and Dad, wanted you to read this.

The Chicken Grandma

IMG_5525 2What a difference a week can make!  Last week at this time we were watching flood waters rise, snow melt at an alarming rate and pumping water away from the house. This morning we sat on the deck in the sunshine and enjoyed the warmth immensely.

Our river is making it’s way back into the banks where it should be, ice bergs are turning dirty and look lonely in the middle of fields. The ice jam on the river has made it’s way downstream and I have a tulip blooming in a pot.

I am reminded of the fact that downstream all is not well and won’t be for a very long time. Nebraska is suffering greatly. Ranchers have lost herds, ground and are overwhelmed. Entire towns have been submerged with ice floes inside buildings where people used to gather. Wells have been compromised so water restrictions are in place…

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A Pink Truck and Paintbrushes

A few weeks ago I saw that there was a painting class being offered in our new town. I loved the picture of an old truck with a Christmas tree in the back, so I signed up.

Last night, I walked into a building that was nearly bursting with people the class was so full. And, there I was, knowing absolutely no one, looking for an empty place to sit…

Eeks! Have you ever been in that position? Trying to find an empty seat and feeling like there’s a flashing neon sign around you that says, “I came ALONE!!!”

Finally, I spied two empty chairs right up front, so I headed in that direction. As I stepped past one to grab the other, I heard someone say that I could sit there.

Whew! Relief! A seat!

Oh my gosh, you guys! I’m pretty sure the night couldn’t have gone any better. The gals I ended up sitting by were fabulous, kind, and funny. I had a total blast and genuinely laughed at times I wasn’t even expecting to.

After I got home, I showed my painting to my husband and Little Bit, then reflected on my lessons learned:

  • trying something new is an adventure worth taking
  • walking into a place where you know no one is worth the risk
  • alone isn’t necessarily alone
  • kindness lives, it really, truly does

Here’s to small towns, random Monday evenings, a pink truck and paintbrushes.