September 1, 2012

Farewell to Iowa

We have moved to Tacoma, WA!  Yes, it's a little out of the blue, but at the same time it makes a lot of sense if you know the whole story.  At the end of July, we moved our daughter to the Seattle area - a caravan of her car and a Budget rental truck.  She accepted a teaching position here, which was really a dream come true for her, as this area was where she longed to live.  We had all agreed that we eventually wanted to live near each other again, and our plan had been to do this in a few years when my hubbie retired from his job with Iowa.  God had a different agenda obviously!  Because of budget issues in the state, my hubbie's job had deteriorated in quality and reliability, and he was prompted to start looking for another opportunity.  After applying in Iowa, Colorado and Washington, the opportunities in WA started cropping up over and over.  The end result is a new job that is a perfect fit for him, working for/with folks who are so appreciative of the skills and ideas he brings with him, and on top of that he has a beautiful view of the water and mountains from his office.  God is sometimes more gracious than our little brains can take in - this is one of those times.  The cherry on top is that we're a mere hour away from our dear girl, whose job is turning out to be a fantastic fit for her too!

Yes, we will certainly miss many things about our little acreage.  Many people exclaimed, "Won't you hate to leave your garden?" The garden will certainly be missed, but what comes to mind as well is our pond. It was often the focal point of our day - rain drops making rings, fish jumping and frogs singing, mystical fog rising up on a summer morning, wind rippling across the surface, or totally still and reflecting the big trees like a mirror, on fire with the sunrise, or frozen and white with snow.  We will miss seeing newborn fawns frolicking in our backyard, but not the nibbled landscape plants!  We will miss an abundance of bird sightings, but not the messy Starling nests on the porch!  We will likely miss the quiet, but not the dust clouds from the gravel roads!

What we will miss the most about Iowa are the people we leave behind.  My dear grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins...  And those outside our family, who have loved and cared for us over the last 6 years, will be sorely missed.  We might even miss the ones who found us to be a great curiosity!

It's amazing to look back at all the things that happened in our Iowa years - a high school graduation, a college graduation, Em's first professional job, a heart attack, 2 totaled cars (one accident and one flash flood), 2 aborted part-time jobs for me :), and many small and large gatherings of family and friends for Thanksgiving, Easter, Reformation Day, and Grandma's 100th birthday.  There were countless pounds of harvested vegetables which were cooked, canned, frozen, and shared.  God always leads us on a rich faith journey as we move around this wonderful country, and we trust that this will happen again.  We have learned in our Iowa years to walk more closely with our Lord and rely more deeply on His daily, complete provision.  "And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."  Phil.:4:19

I will still be blogging from this same site, with a future title change of course!  We don't know what kind of home we will land in here, but as always, we have plans and dreams for gardening in this new place.  I started a list of what I wanted to grow before we even moved here.  When we were here for my husband's interview, we drove around and saw an abundance of amazing flowers in nearly every front yard.  There is a somewhat tropical feel to much of it, and this climate offers fantastic conditions for growing - that is if you can find a spot that isn't shaded by huge firs!

I'll end this post with proof that we did indeed garden in Iowa during our last summer there!  We're praying that the next owner will come along and carry on with what was left behind. 

Our blackberry canes produced a lovely fruit this year and we made jam!

One of my favorites - an heirloom watermelon called "Moon and Stars".

Our spring garden was particularly happy - before the horrible drought!

Our herbs did extremely well because we placed a row cover over that square foot plot, and what a difference they make in a salad.

So many fresh goodies to put in the fridge after a mornings harvest. This lettuce mix, "Rocky Top", keeps beautifully for a number of days if it's kept cool.

Our volunteer marigolds lent a nice touch to a Father's Day cake - chocolate butter cream is the bomb!

 Here's a shot of our garden in full force just before we left.  Here are Lowell and Rhoda helping to clear it out and enjoy the goodies.  We invited people to come down and glean what they could in exchange for tidying it up a bit.  Good deal for them and us!

Enjoy the end of this harvest season, and happy growing wherever you are!