Monday, October 11

"What's on the line?"

As you all know, I went home to Iowa this past weekend to visit my mother. Whenever I visit, it's like a "trip down Memory Lane". It's natural then that a great deal of inspiration for my designs in quilting, penny rugs, miniatures, etc. comes from growing up in the little town of Lehigh, Iowa. This little quilt called "Back to School" is one of twelve small quilts that were all inspired by a place I remember from my childhood.......Border Plains Country School............
I didn't go to that country school as we lived in town. I attended Lehigh Public School. However, many of my classmates began their school years at Border Plains. I remember going to some activities at the school and liked driving out into the country just to pass by it. "Going for a drive" was something we did a lot when I was a kid. My dad would say "let's go for a ride" and we'd pile in the car and take a drive in the country or end up at his favorite ice cream place for a malt. In the last year's of my dad's life, one of the things I enjoyed was "going for a drive" and listening to him and my mom as they shared who lived where and who married whom, etc. Now it's just my mom and me when I go home and we go for a drive. Sometimes I know the characters or the places, sometimes not. It doesn't really matter as it is just interesting to listen to the conversation.

One of the places we drive by almost every time I visit is this empty lot. My mother remembers this place well. There was once a cute little green shingled cottage that sat in front of that big tree. It was the first house that she and my dad rented. I was just a toddler then. While we lived in that house, my sister Judy was born. We stopped at the lot when we were out and about this past Saturday. It was the most gorgeous fall day!! This spot is just east of the little town of Lehigh and at the entrance to Brushy~Creek~Park. It's a very pretty area with horse trails, camping, fishing, just a great nature area. It wasn't always a park, though. There were farms located in what is now the park area and there was an old schoolhouse. As times changed and all kids went to "town to go to school" and small farms began to fade away, a plan was set in motion to make it into a park area. I think it's a pretty place but it's different. When times change, we sometimes lose something in the process and yet, I know that we also gain something. I guess that's just life.

A few miles down the road from Brushy Creek Park, is the little town of Homer, Iowa. My mom wanted a picture of this, the once thriving Methodist Church of Homer. It also saw a bit of time as a school. I was going to provide a link to an interesting history web-page on Homer but sadly it is no longer available. I did find a current reference to the church you see in this photo - click here for the article if you are interested in what became of this little country church. I also found this ......that says that in 1885 the church was insured for $1000. That must have been a good deal of money then but now it wouldn't cover the monthly heating bill! Gone is the bell tower and the roof is sealed to keep out "the elements". Buildings like this one, along with barns, old farm houses, etc. are no longer of any use. Time passes for certain things in life. I enjoy seeing them, though, and learning their story. My way to preserve a memory of an old school was to draw a sketch and turn it into a little quilt. My quilt isn't any school in particular. It's a little bit of lots of old churches and schools one sees along country roads. Later in the week, I'm going to tell you about another little country church that is still thriving. My mom and I went to a church supper and bazaar at the little church that thrives. Yep, we had a busy weekend with lots of adventures so there is plenty of stuff to share along with meeting more of my retreat friends and seeing their projects. :-)
Back to the Homer church, though and some new friends that we met........these guys...........
two mules that keep the church yard mowed!!! When I was taking the picture of the church for my mom, she happened to notice that on the other side of the church steps there was what looked like a horse. We realized they were mules and they were soooooo funny. They made both my mom and I laugh. Reason......when I took the first picture of both mules they were looking toward the church but I said "Hey, fella" and as soon as I did, they turned as if to pose for a picture. I took several photos just because it was fun to see them react each time I would say "Hey, fella". I wish that I had a carrot or some sugar cubes to reward them for their good behavior. You sorta had to be there to know how funny this was. My mom just loved it. :-)
Since you know that this was a trip to Iowa and Iowa is in the "heartland" of the U.S., I thought it was only fitting that I should share a visit to a quilt shop that is in "the heartland". And the name of the shop is easy to remember.......Heartland Quilt Shop!
It's a small shop in Algona, Iowa with great fabrics and a large classroom. I stop here almost every trip I make to visit my mom. :-) I usually stop on my way home but this time, I stopped on my way to my mom's. I've bought a number of 30's fabrics here and patriotic prints, too.
This day, though, I just bought one 30's print and a Kansas Trouble floral that owner, Pat is cutting in this photo. And I must apologize because I take two photos of everything and this time I just took one......and Pat's eyes are closed. You can still see that she is very happy and she is so friendly! I always enjoying stopping by and I will stop in again and get a better photo next time. I need more 30's prints for a spring project so I really do have a reason to stop in again. Although, do I ever need a reason to buy fabric!! LOL!

Okay, so you know I went to Iowa, you know I was in "the heartland" and I told you in my Friday post that I was going to "count something" as I made my trip south........and here is what I was counting..........COMBINES! There were a lot of these in the fields harvesting corn. I am thinking I might have a little contest to see who can guess how many combines I saw during my drive down Hwy. 169. Don't leave any guesses now.........I post more about this in a post later this week and then you can comment.
There is some fun stuff coming up........a visit to a gingerbread house, that church supper and bazaar, fall colors and more stops on "Memory Lane". Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. I so enjoy blogging and am thankful for all of my readers. I love to read your comments and answer many but never quite get to all of them. "Hi" to quilting friend, Judy, in Lehigh!
Have a great Monday!


Pat said...

How nice that you always take your mom for a ride. I"m sure she loves that. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Crispy said...

We would go for a ride almost every sunday when we were kids. I loved sundays.

I really like driving out into the country and seeing the old one room school houses and the old falling down farm steads. I like to think of the woman who was sooooo excited to have a wood frame house instead of living in a soddy.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fun filled trip home.
Glad you had such a great time.
Sandy K

Elaine said...

That little quilt is a great idea.
Love that old church and the grazing.

Joanne Lendaro said...

Great pictures! Love the quilt!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I glad you had such a nice visit and thanks for sharing it with us.


Brenda said...

How fun to visit the place of your youth. I am from Indiana and that is where all my family still lives. Except myself with my family and one aunt and her family. She lives in California and I in Michigan. I am enjoying your blog. I left a comment for the fall giveaway but forgot to state my favorite fall treat. I did not think I could leave another comment on that post so I will just tell you anything pumpkin flavored.

Jen said...

Thanks for taking me on that ride! It was fun visiting all the places you took pictures of and hearing your stories. I've never been to The Heartland before, so this was awesome!

Beth said...

When we were kids we used to go for a ride most Sundays. Most of the time fun, now and then there was a little fighting. (Three girls, two windows, always a problem).
Thanks for sharing. Love your school house.

Lindah said...

What an interesting post about a very interesting trip! Thank you for sharing it. I would like to put in a reservation to go along on your next trip. :-)

W. Latane Barton said...

What a nice visit and happy memories of childhood.

KLA said...

I just stumbled across your page and read your story about the Homer church and not being able to find a link to the town history any longer. After Ed Nass (the author) passed away it was removed. The Kendall Young Library in Webster City has taken the task of hosting all of his previous work thankfully. The link to their page is: The info about Homer will be in the top few links about the early history. I only live 2 miles from Homer and see this church every day on my way to work. :)

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