Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Travelling in Iowa

So for the past week, I’ve basically done nothing. I helped my parents move out of the apartment and with stuff on the farm. I read several books, watched TV and got my parents hooked on DVDs of season 1 of Everwood. Unfortunately, I’ve just done some online research, and they’re not planning on releasing the subsequent seasons on DVD. On the one hand, I’m mad because I WANT THEM, and on the other hand, I feel bad for hooking my parents on a show they will be unable to watch more of. Oh, well.

I was getting a little restless on the farm, but it was going alright. Then my dad started bossing me around. He even used words “You’ll do what I say because I’m putting a roof over your head.” AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Way to make me want to visit, Dad. I replied that when JB visits, all he’s expected to do is bring cute children. I told him maybe I should have a baby so I can do the same. I don’t mind volunteering to help my parents, or having them request help and agreeing to help them. I was planning to help! But being told I have to help because I’m staying under their roof? They complain my brother doesn’t visit enough, but when I come to stay…sigh.

So I decided it was time to get out of there for a while. Where did I go? First I went to Iowa City to visit some high school friends, Harmony and Gwen. We went to dinner, and all the RAGBRAI riders were there. In the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, thousands of people travel more than 400 miles in 11 days (I think). It’s hot and hilly. Each night they camp and party. This year Lance Armstrong joined in for a while. Anyhoo, a bunch of riders were in the restaurant we picked, wearing riding gear and crazy wigs, sunburned and sweaty. We went back to their place and watched Hitch, which is a cute movie.

Harmony is doing excellently in her pre-med training, and Gwen just got a promotion. They have two cats, a rabbit and a cute, hyper dog now. I wonder how they’ll divvy them up if Harmony has to go away to med school.

Monday, July 31 I drove up to Grandma and Grandpa Kiley’s. I’d never seen their house before. I especially liked a little garden they have out back. I interviewed Grandpa Russ, and he told me a lot about his childhood, being in the military in Germany after the war, and marrying Grandma Carol. Grandma Norrie told me about she and Russ got together and how they got to the point where the whole family could get along.

The next day I drove to Grandma and Grandpa Gilbaugh’s. We went to the Senior Center where they volunteer. We served food and played cards. Some of the people I played with turned out to be in their 90s, which I never would have guessed. I hope, if I get that old, I can be that healthy and with-it. Then we went home for Jeopardy and pizza. I interviewed Grandma Carol (Grandpa Kenny wasn’t too talkative) and she told me about her childhood, her marriage to Grandpa Nissen, her marriage to Grandpa Kiley and her marriage to Grandpa Gilbaugh. She taught me two important lessons: choose your husbands carefully, and don’t take responsibility for fixing someone else. She told me her goal in life is to be remembered as a person who lives joyfully. That’s a great goal…one of the best.

But now I'm back on the farm and things are fine. I think my dad and I have a two-week limit. If we're together any longer than that without a break, we start fighting (or, as he would call it, "getting loud.") But now all is peachy!

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