Counting Miles By The Alphabet

Hello, Iowa.

Hello, Iowa.

For the past year, I’ve lived in a place with twisting, turning roads, crooked intersections and streets named after people prominent during the Civil War. Read: John Mosby Highway.

Today, I had the joy of counting the miles according to the first letter of each road I passed.

You see, Iowa was set up on a grid system. In the country, there is one road every mile. The roads are straight. Intersections make right corners.

So I drove from Quail to Falcon today. When I got to Kittyhawk, I easily noted that I still had a bit to go. Then I passed Jade, Ivy… you get the idea.

Oh, Iowa, it’s certainly the little things that make you endearing to me.

Dinner at my parents’ house was accompanied by Boxcar Children Lemonade (one cup lemon juice, one cup sugar, fill the pitcher up with water and ice) and Rhubarb Dream Bars (to die for, in my humble opinion).

I missed the spectacular sunset, a treat sorely lacking from Virginia life, because I was watching my nephew try to eat cabbage of his daddy’s plate, lemonade out of his mommy’s glass and simultaneously claim a table knife as his new favorite toy. He succeeded in getting a little lemonade, but failed at the other two.

It was worth missing the sunset.

When I was driving today, nobody cut me off and nobody honked when I switched lanes and then realized I needed to switch back very quickly. I was a little surprised. Then I felt surprise at my surprise.

Although the hills of Iowa are not close to my parents’ house in Tiny Town, something I miss a lot from my early childhood, I spent the day marveling at the wide expanse of sky dotted with puffy white clouds. Simply lovely.

And as I sit in my old bedroom, the very first room that was mine alone and not shared with my sisters, I can hear the crickets through the open windows and remember time and time again of sitting here on summer nights, the door shut and windows open, writing and reading and dreaming about the future.


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