One of the things I love the most about living in Iowa is our proximity to the countryside.
Well, it’s one of the things I think is coolest. In all honesty, I’m not sure I love it, since it means I’m that much farther from Anthropologie, a big art museum, and croissant bakeries.
Not to be insufferably élite.
Anyway, if you live on the East Coast (as I did) and you think you know what I mean by “proximity to the countryside,” I am here to tell you: you are wrong. I thought I understood the countryside when I drove down to horse country weekends for riding lessons (I know, I know…) or to pick apples in the Shenandoah Valley. Or out to my best friend’s house in Oakton, pre-suburban sprawl.
That is rural.
Rural and country are not the same thing.
Whatever the dictionary tells you.
This is the countryside. You drive four miles from our house, and it’s just — hills. Trees. Fields. Sky. It’s quite peculiar, being entirely surrounded by hills and trees and fields and knowing it. Iowa City, the island.
On Thursday, I left this island for Honed to Perfection, a knife sharpening service on Prairie du Chien (prare-ee dew sheen) Road. The fun part (besides coming home with criminally sharp knives the following day!!!) was that — right before mailbox 2926 popped up — the road was closed. So I had to park the car.
And walk through the craggy mud to that red-roofed building in the distance (can you see it?).
Here’s another shot. I would like to add that I was wearing heeled booties. And a skirt.
Just to paint the picture.
I would also like to tell you how the knife drop works. You package the knives in some newsprint, write your name on it, and drop them in a red mailbox. They call you when the knives are ready. You pick them up in the red mailbox. You leave cash or a check in the red mailbox. The end.
They do a good job, too! I’ve already nicked myself twice on the knives. Eek. Success!