I’m from Iowa

by Wendy Copley on October 25, 2009


I had chance to do some scrapbooking yesterday and I made this page about my geographic heritage. This page was a bit of a departure from what I normally do. For starters, it was about me, not the kids. Then, I started with the story I wanted to tell and found photos to support it, rather than the other way around. I actually couldn’t find any photos of Iowa in my photo file so I chose a recent-ish photo of myself and scrounged up some Creative Commons photos from Flickr to add to the page. I love Flickr.

The page topic was inspired by the ebook 20 Simple Secrets of Happy Scrapbookers from Ella Publishing. One of the “secrets” is something along the lines of “remember where you came from” and when I read that, it got my mental wheels spinning.

The journaling is hidden behind the state cut-out. It reads:

I am from Iowa.

I spent my first 18 years in Cedar Rapids and I loved it. I loved my elementary school. I loved the park near my house. I loved swimming all day in the summer and catching lightning bugs on the front lawn as the sun set.  I loved sitting on the porch reading a book until it was too dark to see the words on the page. I loved the snowy winters and the ridiculous amount of clothing I had to wear to even venture outside. I loved shoveling the sidewalk (up to a point). I loved pork tenderloin sandwiches, corn on the cob and home grown tomatoes. I loved having a Dairy Queen within walking distance of my house. I loved the farmers in their John Deere caps and the commercials for Lorsban that played during the evening news. I loved how every person who’d ever even considered running for president descended on the state every fourth year. I loved going to fast food restaurants, driving up and down First Avenue and sneaking into the parks after they were closed to run whooping through the woods with my friends because there was nothing else for teenagers to do.

As of this year, I have now spent more of my life in California than I did in Iowa. Every election I’ve ever voted in was in California. Every home I’ve paid to live in was in California. Every real job I’ve had has been here. I pay taxes here. I got married here. My children were born here. By pretty much any standard, I’m a Californian.

So why do I still feel like an Iowan? Why is it that when I see someone in a Hawkeye sweat shirt I stop them to talk to them? Why do I first look to see what Iowa did on USA Today infographics? Why am I so proud to see Tom Harkin and so ashamed to see Chuck Grassley in the news? Why is it that I like sweet corn so much? I think Iowa is ingrained on me because my experiences as a kid in Iowa shaped so much of who I am as an adult.  I guess what they say is true: you can take the girl out of Iowa, but you can’t take the Iowa out of the girl.


Photos credits are as follows:

  • Bever Rock by MsPatt
  • Hot Eats Cool Treats by felixtcat
  • Gah! I didn’t record the URL for the photo of the cornfield and now I can’t find it again. If anyone recognizes it please let me know so I can give proper attribution.

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