Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Iowa on a Saturday

This past weekend I was hurtled through the air and transported to Minnesota/Iowa for a family wedding. My dad's side is from this area and so off into the heartland I descended. Here is what I can report.

-The people were a little bit friendlier in the midwest, not that Portland is unfriendly. But maybe my practice of shaking hands and grinning a lot when I meet people owes its origin to this region.

-People eat a lot of summer sausage in this part of the country. Way more than you would expect.

-The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Highway is very very pretty in early May. That's the Little House on the Prairie lady.

-They light a lot of candles at Lutheran weddings and the proceedings are brief.

-In a twist of genetic destiny, it seems that all the athletic ability went to my Uncle Lyle and not to my dad. All of my cousins on that side went to college on athletic scholarships and all their kids are doing the same thing. These are great big hulking norwegian people. My second cousin Drew Clark is a linesman for the Iowa State Hawkeyes and very polite. His GPA was 4.12 and he benches 315 lbs. Look out world.

-Iowa isn't necessarily politically conservative. The motor hotel we stayed at had a framed picture of Obama and the hotel manager above the front desk, taken when Obama stayed there on the campaign trail. Much to my surprise, my dad still agreed to check in.

-In further service to my history mystery, I learned that my norwegian great grandparents were named Albert and Agnes Pederson and lived on a farm in northern Minnesota which is still in the family. Neat.