Iowa Scene

Thirty acres of Iowa farmland surrounded our country house ~ the first home we ever owned. We tended a huge garden, had six apple trees, and rented out the rest of the land to a nearby farmer.

It was a magical place in all seasons. Spring time brought apple blossoms and the sound of tractors moving up and down the fields. Our summer garden overflowed with zucchini while wind-blown sheets flapped on the clothesline. Fall harvest coincided with our consolidated high school’s homecoming parade around town square. Winter storms left corn stalk stubs peeking out from a blanket of white snow. And if we were lucky, we might spy a migrating snowy owl, perched atop the fence post next to our old wooden barn.

blizzard blows in night
red barn awakens to white landscape
snowy owl hoots in delight

winter-barn-556696_1920

Victoria is hosting Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. A Haibun is a Japanese form of poetry that includes one or two paragraphs of tight nonfiction prose followed by a haiku that must include a seasonal reference. Today, Victoria tells us how the Japanese associate the Kigo, Fukuroo with the season of winter (Kigo is owl; Fukuroo means the snowy owl). We are to write a haibun about owls. Photo in public domain from pixabay.com

 

59 thoughts on “Iowa Scene

  1. X November 13, 2017 / 1:02 pm

    I have driven through Iowa.

    I grew up on a hill surrounded by family, and a whole punch of woods. The woods were def my favorite part. So much life and adventure between the trees.

    Owls were a more rare treat. I have seen several in real life, but always years apart.

    Really nice description. You give us a really nice feel for the place. All its little textures. The stubs in the snow makes for a great visual. The personification of the barn awakening is a great touch in the haiku.

    We just had a veterans day parade this weekend. Most parades I remember are in the cold or cooler weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 13, 2017 / 3:31 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this….and thank you for the very thoughtful comment. Truly appreciated.
      On a humorous note, the first year we attending the high school homecoming parade (I was an English teacher at the school) we left a bit late and figured we’d just miss the beginning. The parade was over! Small town parades, at least in the early 70s, were very short indeed and sometimes made them seem longer by going twice around the town square! πŸ™‚ We loved our time in Iowa.

      Like

  2. adda November 13, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    An excellent description of farmstead living near a small Iowa town. Love the haiku. Brings back fond memories. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 13, 2017 / 3:32 pm

      πŸ™‚ I LOVED the Iowa countryside in the snow….but sure didn’t like driving in it. I never knew where the ditches were on the side of the road as they were covered in snow and appeared the same as the road. As I recall, I simply used to drive down the middle of the country road! πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. Victoria C. Slotto November 13, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    My dad’s family was from Iowa and I remember visiting the farm when I was about 4–thanks to a photo of me getting a bath in a big old wash tub on the porch and shucking corn! Methinks you still have a bit of rural love in you there in the middle of a big city.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 13, 2017 / 3:33 pm

      I absolutely do, Victoria! I treasure those days we lived in Iowa….teaching in a small high school where the graduating class had 42….and living out in the countryside. Wonder years πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. BjΓΆrn Rudberg (brudberg) November 13, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    This is sounds so delightful… a wonderful place to be in, I could feel the place and the owl would be a great treat to add on top…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 13, 2017 / 3:34 pm

      We loved our Iowa days! πŸ™‚ So glad you enjoyed, Bjorn.

      Like

  5. kim881 November 13, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    Iowa sounds magical – so much space and freedom, Apple trees and blossom, harvests and snow. I have only ever seen a snowy owl in captivity – I will keep my eyes open, though, because we get so many species of birds and there is an owl sanctuary not far from here.One thing we do have in our village, though, is a red barn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 13, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Red country barns….they suddenly seem to “pop” up in the midst of winter snows. We can drive by them and they “float” within the country side until all that white is around them! πŸ™‚ It was a special place for some wonder years! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. kanzensakura November 13, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    What a great scene you have painted for us – I especially like the snowy owl hooting in delight at the snow. that is such a great touch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 13, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Thanks, Toni. It was a fun prompt to wax nostalgic on πŸ™‚

      Like

  7. sarahsouthwest November 13, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    It is always a treat to see an owl. It is something special. I love the way you incorporate it with all those other special memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 13, 2017 / 3:36 pm

      Thank you Sarah. We truly enjoyed our years in the countryside. They call Iowa the Heartland…and it is so apt a description. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Grace November 13, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    How lovely to see that migrating owl and marvel at the changing seasons Lillian ~ I love the white landscape but not to live there, smiles ~ Love your haibun and photo ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 13, 2017 / 3:38 pm

      We loved those days in Iowa. We had a wooden sled that had a long handle to push it with or pull it…and it had a little back on it plus we attached like a “seat belt.” We have some very fun pictures of our daughter at age two….so bundled up….with us pushing her in the snow. Fun memories. And like you….now many many years later….I do love the snow in the city, as long as we don’t have to drive in it! It’s the cold that gets to me more than the snow.

      Like

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:04 am

      It was a special few years to live truly in the countryside.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. alisonhankinson November 13, 2017 / 4:14 pm

    It sounds like a wonderful place to grow up. I wish I had seen the owls. How wonderful. XX

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:05 am

      Iowa is often known as the Heartland. It’s a truly beautiful place out in the countryside. But I do love living in Boston at this point in my life πŸ™‚

      Like

  10. Shawna November 13, 2017 / 4:15 pm

    That sounds like pure bliss. What I’m wondering is how your follow-up homes compared. If I started out living in this kind of magical setting, I would probably feel a little disappointed to leave.

    The apple blossoms and this sentence are my favorite parts of your haibun: “Our summer garden overflowed with zucchini while wind-blown sheets flapped on the clothesline.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:07 am

      We moved from our country house to Iowa City, home to The University of Iowa, when are children were 2 and 3…..We loved living there too…with neighbors, good schools…and just a 45 minute drive back into the country side πŸ™‚ Now, we live in a highrise in Boston — our children have their own children. We love the city life. Actually, I feel quite privilged to have enjoyed living on the farmland and in a city. Both worlds are wonderful — one is not better or worse — they are just different.

      Like

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:08 am

      It was a special time! πŸ™‚ We do, however, love living in Boston since ’97….city life is very fun also. But I do so miss the taste of that first tomato from the garden, eaten like an apple. And that first ear of sweetcorn also from our garden πŸ™‚

      Like

  11. Misky November 13, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    Idyllic, that’s how this farm seems to me. such a beautiful and peaceful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Vivian Zems November 13, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    Sounds so magical, Lillian! Lovely haiku . The scene is so far removed from the concrete jungle I live in πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:09 am

      We now live in a high-rise right in the middle of Boston — we love it here at this point in our lives. But we truly enjoyed living in Iowa when we did — it was a great place to raise our kids. Both — rural and city life — are wonderful. One not better than the other — just different.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. dornahainds November 13, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    Another Sweet-Thrilling scene! 😎😎😎πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:10 am

      Sweet like the first taste of a tomato picked from that garden I wrote about ! πŸ™‚

      Like

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:11 am

      Glad to take you to Iowa, known as the Heartland….if even only through words. πŸ™‚

      Like

  14. Truedessa November 13, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    Lovely imagery, I felt like I was there. I wanted to see a snowy owl perched near that barn in new fallen snow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:11 am

      Ah….the magic of words. They can take us places our legs cannot πŸ™‚

      Like

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:12 am

      It was indeed. πŸ™‚ We enjoyed our time there. Many fond memories.

      Like

  15. Sumana Roy November 14, 2017 / 2:15 am

    What a delightful read! The mind, as it were, found a vast expanse all on a sudden. That photo is exquisite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:12 am

      Glad to take you there…if only through words. πŸ™‚

      Like

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:13 am

      Happy you enjoyed it! Our Iowa years were wonder years πŸ™‚

      Like

    • lillian November 14, 2017 / 9:13 am

      Ah, words as sketching……nice compliment and I thank you! πŸ™‚

      Like

  16. annell4 November 14, 2017 / 10:00 am

    I loved this, what a wonderful write. I loved that you loved it too. Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 15, 2017 / 10:55 am

      Thank you! So very glad you enjoyed….it was such a special time in our lives. πŸ™‚

      Like

  17. lynn__ November 14, 2017 / 11:05 pm

    LOVE how you painted that Iowa memory…beautiful haiku and photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 15, 2017 / 10:56 am

      Thank you, Lynn. It was a part of our wonder years πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 15, 2017 / 10:56 am

      Very much so! Glad you enoyed.

      Like

  18. jazzytower November 15, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    It must be awesome to live in such wide open spaces and have a garden with everything☺. I could see and hear the sheets flapping in the wind. Wonderful.

    Like

  19. Mish November 16, 2017 / 6:03 pm

    Lovely in description. It painted a wonderful rural scene which I find to be so comforting, especially that garden and the harvest it would bring. The snowy owl was a bonus!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 17, 2017 / 8:20 am

      Some very special years for us. 😊

      Like

  20. merrildsmith November 17, 2017 / 1:49 pm

    I’ve never been to Iowa or lived on a farm, but your lasting memories come through here!

    Like

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