Ah, Sweet Iowa Summer

Kitchen counter line-up:
sealed mason jars
filled with stewed tomatoes,
green beans, chunky apple sauce,
Harvard beets and pickled too.

Freezer shelves of season’s best.
Umpteen zuchinni breads,
apple pies and butter corn.
Blueberries, tagged in bags,
waiting to grace a cold morning’s stack.

Fresh mown grass, delicious scent.
Orange tiger lilies, shasta daisies,
farm cats mewling with swollen teats.
Sheets flap in hot summer breeze,
fireflies dance as sun departs the scene.

My Marengo memories . . .
ah, sweet Iowa summer daze.

Photo from our Iowa garden many years ago! Posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. We lived in Marengo, Iowa from 1970 through 1974 and then Iowa City until 1997. Had amazing gardens! Learned to can and freeze much of our homegrown vegetables and fruits. Somehow, our zucchini plants seemed to explode and we ate zuchinni bread all winter long! Lavonne Heitman’s recipe for freezer butter corn was delectable and oh those bread and butter pickles that took up so much refrigerator space! Our apple trees filled many a frozen aluminum pie tin. Blueberries graced sourdough pancakes on cold winter mornings. One year, I even canned homemade ketchup! Fireflies were always the magical part of Iowa summers – sorely missed in Boston. Ah sweet Iowa memories! Deserving of the title, Heartland!

20 thoughts on “Ah, Sweet Iowa Summer

  1. kanzensakura July 26, 2019 / 8:46 pm

    This is lovely. Sounds like my kitchen counter except, I have bread and butter pickles in the jar, cut off corn (double cut here in the South), stewed, plain, and marinara maters in jars, no zuc bread or applesauce but umpteen bags of blueberries for cobblers and pancakes. Love love love to can pickle and freeze. I am with you Lillian!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 29, 2019 / 12:30 pm

      I used to can bread and butter pickles too! And ummmm yes………….love those blueberry pancakes and cobblers in summer and winter too! In fact, making a blueberry tart for friends visiting on Saturday and….coincidentally, they are from Iowa and we’ve not seen them for about 20 years!


  2. robtkistner July 26, 2019 / 8:47 pm

    Those are wonderful memories, thank you for sharing them Lillian. Reminded me of my youth in Cincinnati, Ohio… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 29, 2019 / 12:31 pm

      Midwest….times growing up in the heartland! πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed.


    • lillian July 29, 2019 / 12:31 pm

      Oh yes. And I was just reading from old friends about their grandchildren winning blue ribbons at the country fair and having some projects moving up to the Iowa State Fair. Nothing like it! πŸ™‚


  3. Nancy Jahnke July 27, 2019 / 7:14 am

    Sounds heavenly! Do you miss those days?

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 29, 2019 / 12:32 pm

      I miss the Iowa gardens we had! Can’t do that on a highrise deck πŸ™‚


  4. V.J. Knutson July 27, 2019 / 9:06 am

    Reminded me of growing up – Mom always canning, cooking, and preserving something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 29, 2019 / 12:32 pm

      ….and then enjoying the fruits of that labor all winter long. Nothing like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lona Gynt July 27, 2019 / 2:23 pm

    And dilly beans!
    And pea-pod boats!
    And pheasant flushed
    From the corn just to hear
    The wild wings beating!

    You have brought me back

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 29, 2019 / 12:34 pm

      Oh yes…..I used to can dilly beans! To this day, in Boston where I go to the public market to buy fresh green beans this time of year, I do LOVE to steam them with fresh dill! Glad you enjoyed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 29, 2019 / 12:35 pm

      Ah the produce from summer gardens. I do miss our Iowa gardens….can’t do that on a highrise deck in Boston. But….we do enjoy walking to the Boston Public Market and buying fresh produce from Stillmans Market there……..fresh sweet corn delivered at 11 AM every day now πŸ™‚


  6. Victoria C. Slotto July 28, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    This felt familiar. I think your time in the midwest touched your life deeply. And the freshness of produce and words is a delight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 29, 2019 / 12:36 pm

      Oh it did indeed. Growing up and raising children in the heartland….wouldn’t give up a minute of it. But — we also love our lives in Boston now….right in the city…..no car…..sitting on our highrise deck looking at city lights! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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