| October/November 1991

2711 Harmony Drive, Bettendorf, Iowa 52722

'Backward, turn backward, O Time in thy flight, Make me a child again, Just for tonight!' - Elizabeth Akers Allen, 1860

The seasons march on as they always have, and always will. For a boy on an Iowa farm they changed ever so slowly, much more so than now. Through the wonder of memory it's good to recall and appreciate those days long ago and far away.

Growing up on a farm and in a small rural community is a privilege that we may not appreciate until later. This background represents 'yesterday' to thousands of rural and urban people, who have roots in rural America. The pull back toward the land surges strongest in me come spring. It was that way too when I was a small boy. When the snow, the cold, and the mud were finally gone, when water ran and grass grew, the annual miracle of re growth burst forth everywhere. Once again birds sang, animals returned to outdoor pasture, and April showers brought those May flowers.

The good earth sliding black and fertile from the moldboard of a plow had a nice odor all its own. Pigeons would swoop down to feast on earthworms just evicted into the sunshine. First, the oats crop started to green the fields. 'You can row the corn' announced that a stand of tiny corn plants was through the surface and on its way.

Spring dissolved into summer. There was the chirp of crickets, the buzz of the katydids on a hot summer night, and the sun rose hot and brilliant between the barn and corncrib. Nature giveth and may suddenly take away. The onset of a thunderstorm from a black, lightening-pierced sky looked as if the end of the world was at hand. But the crescendo hit and passed and brought with it the priceless rain- water, water for the land, and renewed promise of a crop.