This is a guest post I wrote for my friends who live in Iowa
I wanted to write about feminists and abortion or the Kingdom of Heaven. But Doug said no, so I will write about them. A subject a little less divisive and hostile.
I met D many moons ago whilst blogging, he commented, I commented, he asked me to read his book, I read his book.
Our family was going through some very trying times and I needed a vacation. They had a bed. and breakfast.
So doing something very uncharacteristic of me, I took my son and we ventured from Seattle WA to Monticello Iowa.
To let strangers take care of us for a few days.
They had a farm! They had a pig! They had apple trees and crickets and quiet and woods and quiet. They had chickens in the basement.
As extremely weird and awkward as it sounds, it quickly became fun and easy, relaxing and safe.
They had a little potluck music get together called the Apple Jam and families came with crock pots and desserts and curious people asking where we were from and feeding us. They have sloppy joes but they are called Maid-Rites!
I have visited these two people pretty much every year for seven years [?] now. Once they came here, to the big city, by train.
Just wanted to give you all a different perceptive of these people I have grown to know and love.
I saw their last family picture and envied at how I was not in it.
First the house… Its old, its a farm. It is real wood. It has the old original house attached to it with the old wallpaper and creaky stairs. I am still trying to convince them to remodel it so I can run away and live there. The barns are huge, and bats live there. It is quite a sight to see a billion crockpots and food lined up on makeshift ledge table upstairs. Workshops, garage, land, apple trees, built in freezer, apple press. Cellar for safety, buckets of dry good ready for an emergency. I could go on and on but suffice to say it is the opposite of what this city girl grew up in and exactly where this city girl wants to be.
As I said I was going through a bad time and this place was my run away dream, the opposite of all I was going through, no drama, no court dates, no crying, no anger, no having to explain all the discord. Heaven.
We have joked around about us being the country mouse and city mouse, but by no means is this a slam or disrespect in any way. A different way to live. Not better, not worse. I would drop everything and pack and live in that dusty farm community in a heartbeat and enjoy the rest of my days hanging out with Mrs. M and Doug, their friends and family.
Being with them has actually helped with my ”my way or the high way anal retentive” way of living I had grown accustomed to.
Even if that meant no fine restaurants or grocery stores with vegan options or quick access to, well, everything.
Doug: big personality, he is the humblest person he knows, I’m not buying it. I call him Pig Pen [He, is turn, calls me Lucy] for he leaves messes wherever he goes. He drinks too much coffee. He cooks and takes out the garbage. He is eclectic, he writes, he builds, he creates. He has many ideas rolling around in that bald head, much to the dismay and worriment of his bride. If he were my husband, he would have me in the fits. lol
He has rough hands and a soft heart. He loves people, he wants to help people, but he also doesn’t take much crap from people. He loves his kids. you can often tell a persons personality by the way they dress… he wears jeans, boots, t shirts. Bright t-shirts. By the bright t-shirts, he wants to be seen [his way of standing out] but is a plain and simple guy dressed for the work he does. Labor. He thrives on connection. He lives life as it comes and sometimes throws convention out the window. He and I could be siblings, we argue and pick at each other like that. I sometimes think of them in a parental way and other times as friends.
To this day it amazes me that they can walk into any store in any small community near by and everyone knows them!!
It’s also funny to tell people where Im from and that I don’t eat meat. They look at me like Im crazy…and I am..when Im sitting in the middle of farm land.
Mrs. Micaela: she is shy, simply beautiful, kind, old-school wife and mother. She struggles with the same things I do. Mothers and wives worry about their family regard of geography. She is soft spoken. She is curious and is eager to try new foods, unlike Pig Pen. When she laughs its from down deep. She makes her own detergent. he finds the good in everything. She cooks, she cleans, goes out of her way to help others. She writes notes. Lots of notes. She loves thrift shopping. Maybe a bit too much. But who doesn’t love a good bargain AMIRIGHT? I think with the line of work her husband is in and maybe her childhood she saves things. I understand the need. I never had to worry about those things, but I understand it. The last visit I was informed I was to stay a longer period of time and help D with his book. So for 2 weeks I stayed. They offer me their best bed in the warmest room and turned on the shower upstairs so I don’t have to take baths. I hate baths.
We go to thrift stores, Amish discount stores, Walmart and lunch. We take walks with the dog. We decided this last trip that the house needed some sprucing up and emptying of accumulated stuffs. I tested my ‘clutter clean-up’ job skills. [I’d actually love to be one of those, but I’m a bit too hard on folks..so I’m told] we gathered everything up in one spot, wrote out decluttering plans, bought some storage stuff and went to work. Mrs. probably had the hardest time getting rid of stuff. I know I do. She did great tho and got rid of dusty forgotten duplicate things and made a promise to have the rest of the house done by the time I get back this year…which is coming up soon, girl!
Something I told her she remembers…. two things to think about .. do you need it and do you have a place for it [not hidden away] if not..don’t buy it. I don’t know if its a woman thing, or a people thing, but we tend to have things scattered and not in the same place, like bathroom goods stored in 3 places or important paperwork in different rooms. Sometimes we don’t realize how much stuff we have until we can get it all together.
We talk of life, love, hardships, relationships. The good, the bad. We have made charts on the chalkboard, lists and talked how to make a better world. They live a slower life, a quieter life. No TV, just a computer. They had never seen the show Hoarders, we watched a few episodes. They both love books. They have wallpaper on a wall that looks bookshelves. They keep ‘the books’ on paper.
She would never tell Pig Pen that he leaves his stuff around. When I brought it up, he asked her if she agreed. She did. He put that in his mental file and helps more around the house.
Does it seem like I’m being weird about these two people? I probably am. They fascinate me. Because they are different yet the same. They are so kind. Everyone I have met there is so damn kind. In the city it’s so easy to lose that. I miss it. Even in our little church fellowship community it’s not as common.
I’ve met the kids and have nothing but nice things to think and say about them. They’re kind and funny and sweet just like their parents.
Doug’s mom and dad are the best. I wish I could move in with them and let Janet cook for me and tuck me in bed and let Don shake his head in wonderment that I keep a pig inside my house. He has a farm and still grows soybeans and corn.
One visit I actually carried homemade cinnamon rolls home to my son from Janet! Can you believe it? She is the quintessential mom/grandmom who wants to feed you and love you and remembers what you tell her!
They do not attend a conventional church. They have a group of friends that get together once a week to pray, read over scripture, exhort, encourage and listen to each other. And there again…I just wanted to embed myself into their lives. Doug doesn’t like to impose his faith on anyone, doesn’t mention it much on his blog, but he and Micaela keep the greatest commandment:
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Thanks for letting gush on and on about your family and lives. I could think of many more things to crow on about them. I’m not a creeper honestly. I crave the simple quiet real life you all have and am blessed beyond measure to know you.