Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Monday, March 12, 2012

Why Iowa?

When Scott and I announced that we were moving to his home state of Iowa back in 2006, everyone thought we were nuts.  "What's in Iowa?"  we heard.  Or, "There's nothing in Iowa!"  My personal favorite:  "Y'all are nuts."

Yes, we were leaving a 2 hour drive away from this:

And the kids wouldn't be able to do this every weekend, like they were used to:

But the move just felt right.  Scott's parents were getting older and Scott was concerned about the farm falling into disrepair.  His mother had been in and out of the hospital.  It was just the right thing to do.

Last summer, I really looked around and realized that I was finally glad that we had moved here.  Not only do we live in a fantastic school district, but I love the wide-open spaces, the lack of traffic, and the kids growing up in a small town environment...  Even if I do miss the shopping that Raleigh offered.  :)

This morning, waking up to somewhat balmy temperatures for an Iowa March, really makes me long for summer and for the time we can get outside and enjoy our yard.  So, I thought I would share some pictures with you of our home outside and a small peek at what living in Iowa is like.

Our house sits on just under 4.5 acres...  Small by Iowa standards, but ginormous for peeps that live on .3 acres or less.

This is what we have to look forward to this summer:

Enjoying the outdoors...  Even if it means mowing a lot of grass.  Personally, I like mowing.  And even with a zero-turn with a 40 inch deck, it takes about 2.5 hours to mow our grass.  And grass in Iowa grows FAST.  We mow once a week during the peak season - our yard and Scott's parent's yard, which has another mowable 5 acres on their 80 acre farm.

I love breathing in the fresh air...

and the smell of lilacs from this ancient bush.

The kids have plenty of space to run and play...

and I love not having any traffic on our gravel roads.  It took a while to get used to how quiet it is, although I still have to have a fan on when I sleep.  Its just too quiet.  :)

The boys are getting to age where they don't like living out in the country and would rather live in town where they can hang out with their friends.  I can remember feeling that way too, but when I got older, I was glad that we lived out in the boonies.  Hopefully, they realize how blessed they are that they can do this:

Taking the four wheeler for a spin.

and this...

Running free.

and this...

A baby bird that hadn't figured out how to fly yet and fell out of its nest.

and this.

Ian hunting rabbits with an air rifle.
Yes, there are drawbacks...  It takes 20 minutes to get to a grocery store and 40 minutes to get to the mall.  I think its an even trade off though.

Although there are things out here that freak me out:

Although, everyone out here says hurricanes scare them more.  I'm like, "But you know its coming.  For days.  You can head inland.  Tornadoes strike without warning!"  They just laugh.  I admit we spend a lot of time with our basement door open in the spring and summer.  I don't think I'll ever stop doing that, no matter how long we've lived out here.

And some things that are a pain to deal with, but oh so beautiful...

Winter 2011

Driving on ice and snow covered roads.

Sometimes waiting a day for the snow plows to come by.

Snow drifts taller than I am.

But I don't think I could go back to living in town.  And if given a choice, I don't know that I would move back to North Carolina.  I miss my family, the beach, the awesome food...  But, Iowa is the place for me.  Even if right now, it is somewhat depressing outside:

Because, Friday I saw this:

One of the first robins of Spring.  YAY!
 Which means this...

isn't too much further away.  Thank goodness!

So, although the outside of our house needs as much work as the inside...

The never-ending list of To-Do's:

1) Replace siding.

2) Replace wrap-around porch.

3) Replace steps.

4) Add attached garage.

5) Landscaping.

I know eventually it will be the showplace that it was in 1905.

Until then, I can console myself with this...

and count myself as blessed.


Anonymous said...

Hey mom :) its savanna :)

Just thought I would let you know that you officially made me home sick......


Tanya said...

It is just gorgeous! Maybe I'll have my husband start looking for jobs in Iowa. I love how open it is. What a fun idea for a post. Maybe something I'll do. :) Have a fabulous day Laura

Natalie at Little Prairie Girl said...

Yes Iowa is gorgeous and I love living in the country! When I get a yearning for warm balmy climates, I can hop on a plane and get my fill that way!

Love the views at your farm!

Little Prairie Girl

Shari @ turnstylevogue.com said...

A girl after my own heart! Open spaces are special places. Beautiful post and pictures :)

Nicole said...

♥ :) It's beautiful...all of it.

Paula said...

For all those same reasons, I still call Minnesota home.

Scottfamily said...

I've always loved living where we have acres of land (under 6 and now down to one but we are backed up to the woods and have a 1/4 mile driveway.) I love vacationing in NC for the ocean but I will always love the peace of being out in nature with plenty of room to let the kids "go play outside". I grew up surrounded by dairy farms and dirt roads in rural upstate NY and adored it. (I did wish to live "in town" at times as a kid but even then I knew how great it was to have so much freedom and space.)
Enjoy this time. I think it's wonderful that you are staying close to family when they need you.

Fox Hollow Cottage said...

Laura that was a beautiful post. It is one of may favorites ever.
Thanks so much for writting it. The photos are gorgeous... and I loved all that you shared.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I actually found you through pinterest. I am a fellow Iowan. {born and raised} As much as I love seeing other parts of the world, Iowa is and will always be special. There is something about small town country living. A place where your send your kiddos outdoors to play without excessive worry ;) I LOVE seeing your property through the seasons. People don't know what they are missing :) Good to 'meet' you!

Anonymous said...

I'm originally from Iowa and now live in San Francisco. It's rare to find someone who can appreciate the subtle beauty of Iowa, so I really appreciated your post.

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