Friday, March 9, 2012

Good talk.

I was happy to see a nice group turn out for our LAR discussion at Barnes & Noble last night. (Thank you, Jo, for guiding us along and having questions prepared that helped us all reflect a little on what we're reading.) Next week I hope to see even more people come join in. I really do enjoy hearing different voices on this subject.

Last night, when talking about the pig population in Iowa (there's a lot of them, folks!), one participant commented, "And when was the last time you saw one?" That simple question got me thinking. The farm animals here in Iowa do seem to be in hiding. (Or perhaps I'm just not looking in the right places.) I grew up in New York state. When I tell people this, I'm yet to have anyone say, "Oh man. You must have seen farm animals all the time." But I did. Granted, I grew up in upstate New York - a far cry from the hustle of NYC - but, believe it or not, I saw farm animals on a regular basis. Not hogs, perhaps, but real, live farm animals eating grass and laying in the sun, nonetheless.

When I moved to Iowa, I had visions of farms everywhere. Yes, that's an ignorant view of the state. I know that now. (Cedar Rapids is much more "city" than my little hometown.) But last night I got to thinking, is it really that bizarre that I expected to see more farm animals here than I did back in NY? When I drive across Iowa, I do smell more animals after all.

When I take my husband and son (both raised/being raised in Iowa) back to visit my family, what do you think is one of the highlights? A trip to a farm to pet the horses and cows or to pick a piece of swiss chard fresh from the plant and feed it to the chickens. It's almost like my son's favorite part of NY looks like a scene from my younger self's vision of Iowa.

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