So answers Kevin Costner in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, set in Dyersville, in northeastern Iowa. Rolling hills, corn fields, red checkered tablecloths, pancake suppers. You can still find women there who know how to make a double crust apple pie from scratch.
My sister lives on a farm a little west of there in Delaware County, an area that made national news in 2010 when the earthen dam that created Lake Delhi gave way in torrential rains, damaging hundreds of structures and draining the 9 mile lake. The most efficient way to her house was by the road over the dam which has yet to be rebuilt.
Delaware County is most definitely rural, more than a third of its entire economic output is from agriculture. Its population of 17,000+ has not changed much up or down in 150 years. Many families, like that of my brother-in-law, have farmed the same land for generations.
The Amish have had a presence in Iowa since the mid-1800's. Recently, new communities have been established in Delaware County; one new settlement is right up the road from my sister. Last year, on a snowless but still cold Christmas, I looked out her front window and saw this young Amish couple out for a late afternoon drive to visit friends.
If you'd like to see why some people mistake Iowa for Heaven, visit http://www.ouriowamagazine.com/
© 2012 Vicki DeGruy, all rights reserved.
Technical data: Canon 5D MK II, 24-70mm @ 70, ISO 400, f/3.5, 1/160th
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