After attending College Church in Wheaton, we decided to hit the road westward. Dad had in mind to show me some of the childhood towns where Mom lived before her folks settled in Cedar Rapids. She was born in Des Moines when they lived in Marshalltown, and as her dad’s business grew they moved to Fremont where she went to elementary school in a class of 8 students and then moved to Cedar Rapids for middle school and was thrown into a class of 200.
It was a beautiful sunny day for a drive. We enjoyed getting off the interstate and going through the Amana colonies, North English and South English and through the small towns of Iowa.
A generic small town in Iowa—just typical old brick , flags waving, only 2 storied buildings.
The farmland in Iowa is not flat. I loved the gently rolling fields and noted the greenways in the dips, presumably for erosion control, or perhaps ease of tilling.
In Fremont there is a new school so we didn’t actually see where Mom attended,
v Margaret, (top row, 3rd child)
but we did see the bank where her saved-up nickels were lost during the Depression:
From there to Oskaloosa where her aunt and uncle and cousins lived, and then on toward Des Moines.
On the road is the charming Dutch town of Pella which is best known for being the home of Pella Windows and Doors. I will remember it for its tulips and windmills, however. It was getting close to dusk when we arrived so picture taking was iffy, and being Sunday night the streets were empty. We learned later that the tulip festival had been that weekend and we had just missed it. I could tell that it was a place I would like to linger: the streets were so tidy, the yards were immaculate, and the shop windows so enticing (but closed, alas). The businesses all had Dutch names: Van Dyke, Vermeer, Van Den Berg.
At days end we arrived in Des Moines which seemed like a large and confusing city in our fatigue. Finding our way to the motel was stressful and once there we didn’t really want to go out to find supper at 10 PM. It was our only supperless day, and it suited both of us just fine.