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happy Father’s Day, guys

June 15th, 2008

Marriage has turned out differently than I thought it would. We have too many scares and tears and ER visits, but we also have more flowers than I ever expected, good meals, sitting around together talking, playing dominoes or gardening. I planted herbs and flowers all afternoon yesterday. We sent out for pizza and ice cream, stayed up late watching movies.

But Iowa is on our minds. I never expected, when I first married, that Iowa would become such a big player in our lives, and that I would love my husband’s family this much.

My son is disappointed he’s not there with his grandparents this weekend, in Iowa City, going to the park, playing in the yard, having Pagliai’s Pizza instead of Eddie’s Flat Iron.

“Poppy’s coming here?” he just asked my husband, hopefully.

“No, honey. He’s staying home with the big flood. The road from his house to the airport is closed.”

Cedar Rapids (where we fly in when we visit my in-laws, where my husband’s brother and wife live with their three girls) is a mess. Our family is fine, their neighbors are fine, but whole sections of town — homes, businesses, cars and bridges — are toasted or severely damaged.

My in-laws are stuck on their side of town — no way to get to downtown Iowa City. They have been helping how they can, but how can you stop a river? How can you stop nine rivers?

Steve put up some pictures on his blog — they formed a book brigade to save the books in the main library. I love that library, where my father-in-law worked for many years. I love the campus and the Writers’ Workshop. Kurt Vonnegut and Raymond Carver did, too, along with about a zillion other writers. I love Iowa. The people, the boating, the farmlands and the huge barns. The parks and great schools and my husband’s old high school, City High, where we went for an ice cream social one time when we were back home visiting. Steve teases me when I call Iowa “back home,” but you know, Iowa is not that far from Arkansas, where my mom grew up and all of her extended family still lives. For me, that all is “back home.”

Ice cream socials and huge gardens and my kids, running with their cousins all over the place. Having gin and tonics at cocktail hour, watching the fireflies — that’s home.

We were about two seconds from moving there, but a lack of jobs (and lower wages, if we managed to find jobs) stood in the way. I wish we were with our family right now, but am so relieved that my husband and kids didn’t fly out. (I was staying home to work and wrap up end of school year.)

So, prayers please, and good thoughts and I can’t believe that the next time we go to my husband’s home state to visit, it will be all different. We still don’t know the extent of the damage and won’t for a while.

Here’s to things calming down and an attempt to get back to normal. Whatever that is.

For now, much love and a Happy Father’s Day to my father-in-law, brother-in-law, and of course, my excellent husband.


  1. The Other Laura says

    Hey Wacky. My prayers go out to your family in Iowa.

    June 15th, 2008 | #

  2. Joyce T. says

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and leaving a comment. :)

    Lots of our friends at church have family in Iowa, so we are all praying for the folk “back home.” I’m thankful your in-laws are fine, but so many people have suffered extreme loss. So sad. :(

    June 15th, 2008 | #

  3. edj says

    My brother and his family are back there as well. I talked to him on the phone and all is fine in their neighbourhood, but things are crazy back there! Glad to hear all the inlaws are fine, if a little damp.

    June 15th, 2008 | #

  4. Zipdodah says

    Prayers going out to all in Iowa. If you’d like to send help contact the Red Cross. Info at the bottom of this article.

    June 16th, 2008 | #

  5. Jean Ann says

    I am so saddened for them…all of the crops and properties damaged or demolished…sending only good wishes…

    June 16th, 2008 | #

  6. The Other Laura says

    I wrote a bit about how you helped me out yesterday on my blog and I linked to you – hope that’s okay.

    June 16th, 2008 | #

  7. The Gal Herself says

    What a romantic, lovely Father’s Day post! I will add Iowa to my prayers.

    June 16th, 2008 | #

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