We had a family potluck in Ricketts, Iowa today. It’s a tiny town, in the midst of corn fields and farms. Seriously, I saw two streets in town that ended right in a corn field, with no dead end signs even.
When I was a kid, my grandparents had a farm not far from there. I spent a good amount of time in town, at my cousin’s house. There used to be a tiny bowling alley we went to. These days, the bowling alley is long gone.
A walk around town this afternoon led me to some pretty cool opportunities for photographs. Thought I’d share some of Ricketts with you.
I haven’t been writing on here. With all this talk about fall, I’ve been squeezing in as much summer as I can.
If there was a bus between seasons, I’d be the last one on the bus to autumn. I LoVe, love, love summer!!
Every day for weeks, I’ve been in our pool. They say vitamin D can be soaked up from the sun, I’ve been getting my share, ha ha.
Labor Day came and went with a day spent bowling, a day trip to Arkansas, and two days by the pool.
And, to top off all this squeezing in summer?
A county fair yesterday!
We rode the carnival rides. On one, for some reason, I laughed the entire ride! I could not stop laughing!!
We watched the demolition derby, too. It’s crazy how those cars get all banged up!
We had a wonderful time! In the next few weeks, there are two more fairs we are going to. Take a few steps backwards Fall, we’re not quite done with summer yet! Most are, of course, but we aren’t. Ha ha.
We are back home in Missouri and absolutely loved our trip. It’s interesting how visiting family can lead to different places on the road.
Four years ago, my husband’s job moved us from southwest Missouri to the opposite corner of our state. The significance? It added three extra travel hours to my parent’s house in northwest Missouri, which changed it from five hours to eight.
We just spent eleven days on roads and land I’ve been going to all my life. We passed through a couple of big cities, but my heart belongs to the rural backroads of tiny places that are nearly a blip on a map.
Being at my parent’s house, brought me a sweet peace I can hardly explain. It didn’t make the missing of my momma any less, but it certainly did bring me lots of comfort seeing her things and being in a space she loved dearly.
On my other blog, Jeweled Again by Jessica, I have been sharing posts about my aunt Karen and my great aunt Esther. Esther is the reason we left dad’s and headed for Iowa.
Esther is my momma’s aunt and she is 103 years old. Esther has been an important part of my life for many years. When she turned 100, my boy and I made an eleven hour trip to go to her birthday party.
The pandemic canceled her 101st birthday party, but we were at her 102nd. This year we were late to her 103rd. It was in May, we arrived in August, but you know what? She didn’t care about that. She welcomed us with a huge smile and kind words.
Esther lives in Spirit Lake, Iowa and moved there in 1952. She and her husband rented out lake cottages back then and had their cottages open for 26 years.
If you’ve ever been to northwest Iowa in the winter, you’ll understand how cold and snowy their winters are. Her and her husband started going to Texas in the 1960’s winters. While there, she started doing ceramics.
You know how much I love and miss my momma, well, Esther is the same. I think my momma’s loss touched her in ways I may not quite comprehend. She was 27 when my momma was born in a rural Iowa farmhouse. Of all the people still on this planet, she knew my momma the longest.
I think us being together, soothed both of our hearts. And, family does that sometimes, you know? When the missing of someone is so huge, it seems like just seeing someone else who knew them too, can help.
Esther’s husband passed away over 40 years ago and a year ago March, she lost Patty, her only daughter. She and Patty lived together in a story book type house since 1979. After Patty passed, Esther decided to sell their house and moved into a very nice assisted living place. That’s where we visited her.
What a heart-filling trip we had. Spending time with my dad, yard sailing with my sister, seeing Kate, Diann, and Karen on the way to Spirit Lake, being with Esther, AND making special traveling memories with my son was exactly what I needed.
There are places, you know, where we just feel like we are home. One of those, for me, is Iowa. My roots run deep in the rural farmlands and in the towns that were built around cornfields, country schools, and churches.
For the last four days, my boy and I have driven hundreds of miles through the Iowa countryside in search of lakes, water parks, and family we haven’t seen in quite some time.
Oh my, have we had fun!
Our first stay was at scenic Storm Lake. It’s a small town, with a welcoming feel. We had two nights at the King’s Pointe Resort. It sits right next to the lake, so the lobby has a beautiful view.
It has a restaurant and one evening I had grilled walleye and shrimp. Yum!
Besides lake access, there are also indoor and outdoor water parks. We went down this orange slide!
There are some really cool parks around town. One has a really nice veterans memorial and a huge anchor from a 1943 ship.
We loved the Living Heritage Tree Museum. My favorite one was a tree that is a descendant of Johnny Appleseed’s tree.
Our time in Storm Lake was pretty amazing. The lodging, food, scenery, downtown bakery, water fun, and sunsets were definitely memory makers.
After Storm Lake, we stayed in the Spirit Lake/Okoboji area. Love those towns, too