There's a reason why "Iowa" is in quotations. It's because three of the following photos were actually taken in Omaha, Nebraska, and there was a chance that Nebraskans would be offended if I didn't take time to differentiate between what's Nebraska and what's Iowa. After all, Iowa--specifically, Council Bluffs--is referred to as "Council Tucky." To some Omahans, Council Bluffs is also known as "the shadowy place" in the Lion King meme, or, more fondly, as the place where "the squirrels are black and the trash is white." And sure, Nebraska may be "Iowa's armpit," but, come on, now--it's all the Midwest. It's all the metro area. At least we're not actual Kentucky. Or West Dakota. Or Oregichigan. And, even if we were, it's still home. And there's no place like it.
Though I will be sharing more about my trip to Iowa, you can--for the moment--find more photos on Instagram.
Overall, the trip home was incredibly lovely; it had been six months
since I had seen my family, and I was eager to visit with them, to laugh
with them, and to dance with them at my cousin's wedding. I also was
able to introduce Ty, who was welcomed ... and appreciated for his
ability to make me happy. And though it was incredibly difficult to say "goodbye" to my mother (and, let's face it, the cat), I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to take me back to Indianachusetts.
1. My Siamese terror, Ollie, turned six this year. She hissed at Ty, cuddled with me, and got herself into a fair amount of mischief. I miss her terribly.
2. This abandoned home is located just south of Boone, Iowa, on the way to Ledges State Park. It's actually across the road from two abandoned buses, which have been there since the 1950s, I believe. I have no idea how long this home has been uninhabited, but it is completely open to the elements. The floors are collapsing, and the furniture that hasn't yet rotted has sank into the warped floors.
3. Give me the ones with the lead, yo. (Seen in Imaginarium, located in Omaha's Old Market neighborhood.)
4. On our way back to Indiana yesterday, Ty and I stopped in Iowa City to eat lunch. Iowa City is where the University of Iowa is located, so we spent a small bit of time on campus. We went into Macbride Hall, which contains--among other things--the anthropology department and the Museum of Natural History. Ty stared at taxidermied creatures while I stared at the floor, for obvious reasons.
5. The Iowa 80 is known as "The World's Largest Truck Stop," and is a must-visit for all your dream catcher, wolf T-shirt, moccasin, car accessory, and semi-truck needs.
6. The old wagon wheel bridge near Ogden, Iowa, is near the Kate Shelley High Bridge, which is 186 feet tall and was built in 1899.
7. Home. A small bungalow on Park Street, a ramshackle hut with leaky ceilings, creaky floors, and other crippling maladies. It's where my mother has lived for twenty years. And it's where I lived for nearly sixteen.
8. Downtown Omaha, as seen from the Gene Leahy Mall.
9. Anytime I'm in the Old Market, I visit the bookstore on Jackson Street. It's heaven, really, so it's no surprise to learn that Ty and I visited it multiple times. He picked up several stacks of books while I curled up in a comfy chair, turning pages of Jasper Fforde.