This morning when I left my house to head to work I was struck by beauty. Iowa was beautiful today. And if you know me well - you know that this is not something I say very often. I grew up in central Minnesota...land of 10,000 lakes...lots of snow....starry skies...LOTS of trees. When I moved to Iowa, I knew I was leaving a lot of that behind. Of course, when I moved here, I never really expected to stay. But I've found really beautiful places in Iowa, too. I have to admit that I had to look a little harder than I did when I lived in Minnesota, but I have found really truly beautiful places here. And I do love it. Not because of the land or the place, but because of the people that I have come to love here. Now, I will always tease Z about Iowa...and I will always say that Minnesota is better (but that's just my nature). The truth is, I am choosing to live here...and I live here because there really is more here that I like than there is that I dislike.
Over the weekend we had a whopper winter storm. It was fantastic! It rained for a day which provided this thick coating of ice on everything. When the wind got stronger you could hear the ice crackling on the tree branches. Then it started snowing and we got about 8 inches of snow on top of the rain and ice. We live in one of the 60 counties in Iowa that was declared a disaster by the governor. The weight of the ice and the snow on the trees caused branches to break, trees to fall, power lines to come down. There are still thousands of people in Iowa without power. We were lucky. We didn't lose power for any longer than just a few seconds on Sunday. The roads are terrible. Trying to find a parking spot in the commuter lot at the university was nearly impossible (people just can't seem to know how to park their cars when they can't see the lines in the parking lot - even if they've been parking there every day). Wandering around campus I noticed that there were an incredible number of broken limbs and tree branches. The limbs that aren't broken are weighed down by the weight of the snow and ice. Students often had to duck to go under weighed down tree branches when walking the campus sidewalks.
Treacherous perhaps...but oh so beautiful. A truly beautiful disaster.