1,000

I generally go to bed late during the summer: 0300 or later. I try not to go past 0400, because then I wake up way too late. I think I’ve written about that before here.

Wednesday night. I was getting a late start into bed. After finishing my journal entry around 4, I went out into the living room where Micah was watching a movie and watched that for about fifteen minutes, for no reason. Then I went to bed. I made to go to sleep. It was hot. I turned over whenever it got too much to bear, and changed positions trying to get comfortable. The minutes crept by, like a person trying to find his way out of a desert. At 0523 I started counting, but not sheep, for no really good reason. I hit 100, then 200. When I was about to 450 I decided that if I got to 1,000 I would give it up as hopeless.

And I did. So I walked outside and watched the early morning. I was too late to catch the sunrise, but the air was cool and humid and windy; I wasn’t wearing a shirt, and it made my skin wake up and pay attention to how great a morning it was. I walked up the street, stood under the locust tree that’s there in someone’s yard. Mrs Rielac, a lady up the street who I used to see while biking to Building, was out walking her dog like she always does. She told me it was cooler this morning than last night, and moved on to tend some plants for a neighbor, I suppose. A middle-aged guy jogged by: “Morn’n’.” I started walking back toward our house. Another guy, letting his dog out, said, “What are you doing up so early?” I told him, “I couldn’t get to sleep, so I decided to call it an early morning instead of a late night.” I sat on Mom’s car’s trunk. There were birds all over, but I couldn’t see very many of them. Slowly I started noticing more of them. One danced around under an aspen for a little while. Lots of them flew overhead from out of sight to out of sight in another direction; I wished I could do the same, unconcernedly and naturally going from any place to any other place through the air almost instantly. Instead I just had to watch a couple pigeons establishing a pecking order atop a power line. A lady walked by a couple times – went around the block. She said it was a beautiful morning for sitting out here and watching. Couldn’t agree more. Are all mornings like this? Are all mornings this great? I’m going to find out. Maybe I’ll even change from my summer 0300 ways.


Here’s what I’ve been waiting to write.

I’m still finding it kind of hard to believe that I’ll be going off to Grinnell in less than a month. I know I will, but it just seems pretty impossible. I mean, I’ve been in Cincinnati for 18 years; how could anything different possibly exist even? It’s similarly weird to think of living in a different house; this is the only one I’ve ever known, and though it sucks, it’s familiar. Here I am about to be thrown into some situation that I know next to nothing about. In Iowa, 400 miles away from where I’ve been my whole life. I recently found out that, in a poll, Americans voted Iowa the state they’d very least like to be exiled to. What have I gotten myself into? Well, it’ll all be fine in the end, but until then, I’m finding it hard to believe. I guess that wasn’t as coherent as I intially thought it was going to be, when I started writing. Oh well.

File under: adventure


Anonymous

History

Hah! Those who belittle Iowa don’t know Iowa. Iowa just seems to be everybody’s favorite state to mock as being all farmer hicks. Don’t be afraid to go there, that’s for sure. There is a beauty to the whole state that you won’t find here. People who are wonderful, and smart, sophisticated ones who live in Iowa rather than any other state by CHOICE. Iowa will be good for your spirit. And by the way, there are a lot of early birds there, too, so if you change your ways you will find lots of company. Grandma

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Anonymous

History

I was wondering how long it would be before you wrote these thoughts. For over 18 years you’ve had the comforts of home, the familiarity of place, the ability to get around on your bicycle or have someone else drive you somewhere, the security of your local school.

Then, when it happens, it happens all at once: a new home, a new college, new people, and the requirement to get yourself back and forth, not to mention coming up with the money to do so.

So of course it’s hard to believe, and it’s a little scary. But as your Grandma said, Iowa is a great place. And Grinnell will stimulate you in ways you haven’t imagined.

This is life. You have just realized you are crossing the threshold and leaving your childhood behind you forever. There are new responsibilities for you, but you are up to the challenge. You’ll do fine.

Welcome to adulthood!

Aunt E.

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Anonymous

History

Don’t know that you’ll ever see this because it’s now August, but I just wanted you to know that the Iowa poll is evidence of how really great a place Iowa is – anybody who knows that keeps it quiet so the place will not be overrun like so many other idyllic ones have been. Pretty smart of those Iowans, I’d say.

Love, Aunt I.

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