The Heartland

We spent the last three weeks between Omaha, NE and Iowa. Sort of blew our minds!

The highlights:

1. Connecting with InCommon Community Developement Center and our friends at City Church. The Spiehs family and their posse have cared for us over the last three years and this time we were able to share the load and help them out. Besides sharing in song at a potluck/house concert, Craig was able to help with their neighborhood “listening project,” by crafting this booth for their project.

2. We experienced our first flat tire, on our way into Shenandoah, IA. We were scheduled to perform at a benefit concert and just as we arrived the air in the tire released. We panicked slightly but quickly found if you’re going to have a mishap, small town IA is the place to have it. With in moments, our hosts, Niquee Huff and Deborah Rivers made a few calls to one of the auto mechanics in town. They opened up shop, just happened to have a used spare for us and with in the hour had us all fixed up and back to the festival, only $180 out. That was truly a miracle as all of the shops were closed on a Saturday afternoon and tires run $500. Then to top it all off Niquee gave us an unexpected gift for our performance and with that gift we were able to find relief at a local hotel from the unusually hot spring (as well as a shower. If you’ve read our previous posts you know what a commodity a shower is right now. Ha!) Amazing!


3. Our hosts in Cedar Rapids, IA happened to be my best friends parents. Two years had gone by since our last visit and Heather made her way up from Indianapolis, IN to visit with us at her parents home. We had a blast reconnecting. Heather, along with her mother, taught me to sew. We made curtains and a blanket cover for our home. We went on a treasure hunt to find globes for my new dining room, antique light that I purchased in the Benson District of Omaha. Heather came to see us at a fun little house concert series, Cedar Valley House Concerts in Cedar Falls, IA. As we played to a full house of kinfolk, I had flash backs of sitting in Heather’s living room in Sturgeon Bay, WI a good 8 years ago, playing her some of my very first songs. It was special to have her sitting there and enjoying the fruits of our labor.



4. A friend of my parents hosted a spontaneous barn concert in Mt. Vernon, IA. Our son was in heaven the moment we arrived at the property. There were a dozen kids to play with, a go cart and the barn was in great shape, offering space for rollerblading and ping pong after our concert. They pulled together about fifty kinfolk to have a listen and blessed us on our way, including an offer from local/global neighbor, Don Bowers, who offered to fill our gas tank at his station in Anamosa, IA. on our way out of town. We were floored by the generosity of our fellow Iowan’s and look forward to sharing in community with them all next time around.