Land that I love

This week we’re talking about favorite places in nature. Over the years I have had many places that I love. There are several places that I would love to go back to. I love nature, I love being away from the noise, clutter, and closeness of town. The first place in nature that I ever fell in love with was talked about last week when I told you about my tree on my grandparents’ farm. It was a special place, it allowed me to get away from so much. It also let me overlook a lot of the pasture. The boys only fort that was in a cluster of trees down the hill and to the right was in perfect view of my spot, a little creek ran down there as well, and there were always sheep around; including my dear Homer (named after the author NOT the cartoon).

The next place I loved was the Mississippi River. I loved growing up on the shores of this great river. Even when it flooded I still loved it. It still gives me a sense of calm every time I am near it.

The Smoky Mountains was a great place. I have only been there twice and both times were in one trip. It was the first time I had ever seen a mountain. I thought it was the greatest place in the world and wanted to move there someday. I longed to have a secluded cabin in the mountains where I could enjoy foggy mornings while sipping hot chocolate from my front porch. I imagined days spent hiking among the trees. In my childish mind I also envisioned living off the land much like a pioneer would have. I was twelve when I was there.

Off and on from the age of fifteen to twenty I spent time in Fort Hood, Texas visiting my brother who was stationed there. The first time I stayed I was there for the summer. Texas is a LOT different from Iowa. I felt like there was nothing green anywhere. It was hot and dry. Not far from his apartment complex in Killeen was a park but there was no grass there. I often went there to sit and hang out with my new friends but I missed the river, I missed the green of Iowa. My brother took me to BLORA (Belton Lake Outdoor Recreational Area) which is a park that sits on about 2,000 acres. The lake was gorgeous and a lot larger than the 7 ponds that we had not far from where I lived in Iowa. We rented little paddle boats and spent the day on the water. We went horseback riding. It felt so good, so refreshing to be connected to nature again after having been in a city for a month with no real escape to nature near. When I finally came home after that summer in Texas and we crossed from Kansas into Iowa I felt an immense relief. In spite of the fact that we were still around 5 hours from home I felt like I was home. I felt a sense of calm. I felt like I’d been wrapped in a hug and welcomed back.

There are other places that I love in nature that I find relaxing. I would love to go back to the mountains, sometimes just looking at photos of the mountains is calming. Since my trip through the Smoky Mountains I have also seen the Rockies in Colorado Springs. Where I got to visit The Garden of the Gods. There is such an amazing feeling of awe when you see mountains stretching toward the heavens from a distance. It is indescribable. But I’m not sure that is my favorite spot in nature.

I don’t have any one spot now that I go to with a favorite view. I do have a route that I like to travel for drives to just get out of town. So many times I have heard people refer to my hometown as a “smelly old river town” or refer to Iowa as “Ugly with nothing to look at and nothing to do” but I don’t know what they’re seeing. All of Iowa is beautiful. I love the lush green fields in spring and summer, the rolling golden fields of Fall, the pristine white in the winter, the woods that seem to be scattered throughout and the winding rivers. The cotton candy sunsets in the summer are breathtaking. We have so many places that we love to go to. Those drives just to enjoy the scenery constantly remind me how beautiful this state is.

When you find nature so revitalizing I think it is hard to pick a favorite spot. Can I just say that Iowa is my favorite place in nature? I think I could probably go just about anywhere in Iowa and find a new favorite place to be. Do you have a place that you like that other people maybe don’t see the value in?

About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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6 Responses to Land that I love

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    My daughter went to college in the northwest corner of Iowa, so we’d have to drive across almost the entire state to visit her. I agree, there’s a lot of beautiful scenery to see. I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like the nature in West Michigan, except maybe in the middle of winter!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sure Michigan is beautiful and would love to really come and explore it someday. I’ve only been there briefly and it was at night while I was dropping my brother’s friend off at her parents’ house; we got there around 2 in the morning since it was a late start leaving here due to work schedules.. I had to be back home for work the next day so we (my brother and I) didn’t stay so we could explore the next day.

      Like

  2. It is good to appreciate natural beauty wherever you can find it,Angie. You seem good at it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Salter says:

    I lived in Mt. Pleasant for a year (65-66) and re-visited it several times afterward (still in the sixties).
    I found it a beautiful place. I remember miles and miles of lush, green hybrid corn fields. In the winter, I remember beautiful snow and COLD weather — unlike anything I’d experienced in Louisiana.
    I’d like to go back some day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Iowa sounds pretty good to me too! I liked the sound of all your places in nature.

    Liked by 1 person

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