Ah, the Journey.

So a cross-country road trip is like writing a book.  You begin at the beginning but you can’t reach the end without driving through the middle. Gotta let the ride happen, can’t rush it.

My son and I are on a dip your feet into the Atlantic all the way to a dip your feet into the Pacific kind of trip.

Maine is water and mysterious primeval forests.  Massachusetts and Upstate New York are trees. Pennsylvania is rolling farmland.  Ohio is much the same.  Indiana is quick, thank god, and Illinois is almost as quick. Again, thank god.

The essence of Iowa.  Alive.

The essence of Iowa. Alive.

But Iowa… my home state of Iowa is paradise.  Don’t let anyone tell you the soil in Iowa has lost its fertility.  Don’t let anyone tell you Iowa is a one-trick pony– corn and soybeans and nothing else.  Iowa is colleges and books and libraries, forest and fields, farms large and small, the Amanas, pastureland, cows, pigs, chickens, sweet-smelling hay, and yes, corn and soybeans.  It’s been that way for generations.

The Amana Colonies.

The Amana Colonies.

The forests are so thick in my hometown you can’t even walk through.  We spent one evening, and one night.  Took a short hike and saw deer, wild turkeys, fireflies (oh how I love and miss fireflies!), and we ate at Christie Creme – a hangout since my father’s day. The cheeseburgers with grilled onions are still as hot, juicy, delicious as ever.  And they still sell homemade sherbet– the flavor changing daily.

Christie Creme - right before the thunderstorm hit. We sat in the rain anyway to eat our burgers anyway.

Christie Creme – right before the thunderstorm hit. We sat in the rain anyway to eat our burgers.

Best of all?  We got hit with a good old fashioned Iowa thunderstorm. Sigh… I feel complete.

Sometimes the middle is the best part.


Lightning in a bottle.

Via the Urban Dictionary:

Capturing something powerful and elusive and then being able to hold it and show it to the world. 

Performing a rare feat. 

A moment of creative brilliance. 

Wouldn’t you love to capture Lightning in a Bottle?  I sure would.

Speaking of lightning… We don’t often have thunderstorms.  Our area of Northern California is, unfortunately, spared the fireworks.  I say unfortunately because I’m from Iowa where we have huge-ass (Tim) thunderstorms.  I can’t tell you how many nights I watched out my bedroom window, enthralled by the lightning, awed by the thunder.

The other night I was awakened at 3 a.m. by a bright flash of lightning.  A few seconds later hubby was awakened by a crash of thunder.  It was brilliant.  Unfortunately that was all we got.  Pity.

However, that same night, my cousin in Nebraska called to tell me that in the midst of a raging blizzard they had lightning and thunder.  Life imitates art.

In the Flesh, the second book in my Soul Series, is all about the magic contained in lightning in a blizzard.

Lightning in a bottle.  I wish!