So I've been in Iowa for a week now. Unkie and Helen's party went beautifully. You can tell we have German ancestry, because the food included brats and saurkraut. The entertainment included (I kid you not) a polka band. Everyone really enjoyed it, but there wasn't any dancing, in part because it was more than 90 degrees out, and in part because we were on the lawn. ("It's not a smooth enough surface," one partygoer explained, "Someone could twist an ankle.") But my family had a great time, telling stories and laughing. I handed out hundreds of pieces of cake, and Unkie told people I was his oldest granddaughter. He and Helen looked so happy and in love after 50 years of marriage. We should all be so lucky.
Since the party I've been mostly taking it easy and have read four good books. I've also helped a bit with farm chores, sorting sheep and house chores. I walk our minipoodle and throw things for our border collie to fetch, which Mac will do ad nauseum, even if it is 100 degrees out. After a few throws, I'd make him stop to drink water, and he'd look at me like I was so mean.
I've been a bit stranded, as the work at the farm has lead to many nails from the old house and barn making many holes in many tires. But now I have a car and can go to the restaurants and shops I've been wanting to visit. I can also start arranging for visits with family members and friends.
I'll be here until August 14, but I know how quickly time can get eaten up. In fact, being stranded has been kind of nice. I don't remember the last time I had a week with no responsibilities, work or social. It's also a rare treat to be in a space with no other people for a mile around. Well, it's rare for me. In New York, there's always someone above you, below you, and every which way.
So I'm enjoying Iowa, my family and my pets...even the scorching heat wave that just broke. Here's hoping you're enjoying your summer, too. Miss you, NYC friends!