Sunday, May 29, 2011

Travels with my Dad—Day 8

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.

Map picture

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.

11-05-08-14-08-44H 11-05-08-14-17-13H 11-05-08-14-17-24H 11-05-08-14-20-58H Old and new, silos and cell towers ^

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.

11-05-08-16-32-20H    The town square, above and below.11-05-08-16-31-07H

 11-05-08-16-33-01H 11-05-08-16-33-31H 11-05-08-16-36-20H

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.



French said...

Hollace, I love seeing your photos!! The green fields, tulips (Pella is amazing!) and the simple brick buildings are so charming. It's what America is about, forget the stuff that goes on here in California...thanks for stopping by~

Gilly said...

I love seeing photos of your journeyings. Your little towns, at least those in Iowa, are so different from our little English towns. You have so much space! The roads are so wide!

And the Dutch town is lovely. I expect the tulips remind them of Holland, they are such a cheerful colour!

We go on our cruise 15th June until 29th June. Expect loads of pictures of Norway and the Arctic!

Rowan said...

How lovely to explore the area where your mom grew up, Pella looks really nice, you'll have to go back there one day when the shops are open:) No wonder you were too tired to go out and eat after such a long day.

Rowan said...

I've just read all the previous posts in this series - what a fantastic trip and how marvellous that your dad has talked so much about his life. Looking forward to reading more - hope there will be a wedding photo of your mom and dad at some point!

Kathleen said...

What a wonderful thing to be able to take a trip with your dad. I enjoyed reading about it and I am sending the link to my blogger friend who lives in Iowa.

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