Some factual, some based on opinion…
Farmers “grow” corn and “raise” cattle. The two are not interchangeable.
Most discussed topic in Iowa: the weather.
The joke we’ve all heard: What does IOWA stand for? Idiots Out Wandering Around – but we know which state is famous for growing potatoes and which state is the Buckeye state. (P.S. from my cousin Jane: Iowa is always first or second in national education test scores.)
The state bird: Eastern gold finch.
State motto: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will retain.
The first person to feel a slump in the economy: the farmer.
The last person to feel a jump in the economy: the farmer.
Where most visitors congregate: the kitchen table. The path to the kitchen table is well-worn by farm boots. To go into the living room with boots on is a faux pas. Although it may be bemoaned, to the kitchen table is generally accepted.
Farmers discuss who and what they know and expect you to be on the inside; even in if you aren’t from there, the assumption is made that you’ll understand all references. Or, perhaps, it could be construed that if you don’t know it’s none of your business.
Two knives used in Iowa: the butcher knife – obvious use; the paring knife – all other cutting needs.
The state oven temperature: 350 degrees. I’m still leery of any recipe calling for a temperature of over 375 degrees. Ten more years living out-of-state and I might get a bit more comfortable with 450.
The state chicken part: the wishbone. We all fought for it. I’ve never seen it outside of Iowa.
The state line signs: “Welcome to Iowa. A place to grow.”
Bill’s sister’s description of Highway 20, a very straight road across Iowa: “This looks like a long road to nowhere.”
“Is this heaven?” “No, it’s Iowa.” – This famous baseball diamond still exists in Dyersville, IA, just off of Highway 20. Bill and I have played ball there in what seems to be a perpetual summer game. People bring picnics, gloves, bats and balls. Kids get 5 - 10 pitches. Players rotate through the positions without formal set-up or direction. Cornfields border the outfield. A little piece of heaven.