There aren’t many times when I really, truly wish I were in my tiny western Iowa hometown. I am thankful I spent my growing up years there, close to my grandparents in a tight knit rural community. It’s a spot I love and admire, and though I miss it, largely I can handle the long distance.
But this weekend I’m yearning for the place I called home for more than half of my life. I’m a pretty upbeat glass-is-better-than-half-full type but today my heart is heavy knowing that hundreds of acquaintances will gather this weekend and I won’t be among them.
I’m missing the fair. No walking through the livestock barns, admiring the baked goods and flowers, cooking school or pie at the Methodist Food Stand. I’ll miss family polka band in the parade. No introducing friends to my darling son or catching up with folks I haven’t seen in years, no bingo, no pork burgers or carnival rides.
This summer we’ve missed a few special events in Iowa. Despite it, I’ve tried to move ahead with a smile knowing that someday circumstances will change and I may be able to get in on the action. I try to keep in mind the simple fact that my son will love the the place when he’s older. Plus I’ve been lucky to see my dear parents several times this year so I’m trying not to be too sad.
But still… sometimes you just can’t shake the feeling that there’s no place like home.
Check out some images and voices from my hometown here. They were captured by a New York Times reporter who passed through a while back.