My Midwest

This is an entirely self-indulgent post. John Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” has been on repeat, leaving me yearning for the Midwest. (Play it below.)

Home is where the heart is. I grew up in western Iowa, which surely is the root of my frugal ways. The cost of living is low, a breakfast special is cheap, and fashion isn’t a priority to most. Wide expanses give way to simple pleasures, like a sunset spanning the horizon leading to a blanket of bright stars. While time progresses elsewhere, Iowa and its Midwest counterparts seem to move in slow motion. Small town Iowa is blissfully ignorant of today’s date.

I visit home three times a year. Splitting apple pie a la mode at Cracker Barrel with my mother has become somewhat of a tradition. Summer means sherbet of the day at Christy Creme, the Saturday morning farmer’s market on the brick streets of Omaha’s Old Market, and people-watching at the Panera Bread in the disappearing Mall of the Bluffs.

Romantic reminders of the state in which I was raised include the soft hum of locusts during an August night, country roads lined with barbed wire fences and the smell of fresh grass and scented flowers in the clean, clear air.

Iowa is speckled with rusted old swing sets, weathered movie theaters and remnants of businesses from times past. In its landscape, too, are main streets lined with fast food chains, bowling alleys and thrift shops.

The above shots were taken in a variety of western Iowa spots in the last couple of years: in and outside Missouri Valley, Iowa; several points along I-80 heading east toward Des Moines; county roads heading west towards Council Bluffs; in my hometown of Council Bluffs; and lastly, down a lonely alley in Omaha, Nebraska.

14 responses to “My Midwest

  1. Thanks for sharing 🙂 I love hearing about different cities in America. They all have such character. For some reason this post made me want to fall in love…perhaps it was just John’s voice lol

    • A lot of spirit and romance in that song – oh, politics. Yes, America is full of character – each state is different, each city and town is, too.

  2. Gorgeous post – thanks for sharing!

    Miss B xx

  3. I loved every single thing about this post. It’s so special. You painted the perfect picture of your hometown. Made me want to go through old photos where I grew up.


  4. these photos are so great!! really.

  5. such beautiful photos! really captures the beauty of the scenery!

    xx raez

  6. Hey Girl! These picture are insane! And actually I was talking to my husband about how much I secretly like John Cougar and my favorite song is Pink Houses. I LOVE that song SO MUCH! Im sorry you are missing your midwest.
    I did hear that the farmers markets in Cali are amazing though, I wish they were that good here. Its sad but Houston is such a big city but we just don’t have really cool farmers markets among other things! LOL
    Have a fab weekend!


    • Doesn’t that song rock!? It gets stuck in your head and never leaves. Hopefully with time Houston will see the importance of farmers markets – have you explored all the possibilities in your area? Here’s to hoping they improve… too, so you can wear all your pretty dresses to them! ❤

  7. I love your pictures and memories of Iowa!

  8. I love this post!!! Nothing wrong with a touch of self-indulgence. Sounds like you’ve had an idyllic break, how long did you visit for? Bizarre as it may sound, coming from the UK, I have always had a great desire to visit all 50 states and witness the laidback lifestyle of Iowa. Where I’ve grown up, in a city, everything is so fast paced, I love to visit places where time passes slowly and the interests of the people are on simple pleasures, rather than shallow desires.

    Thanks for your comments.
    Robbie xox

    • I haven’t visited since April! I’m not sure when I will go back – looking to be all the way at Christmastime. Such a long time to wait!

      And it’s strange that every state in the US has its own feel… I think your desire is great. Most people who grew up in the US have not visited all 50 states. I hope that you some day make that happen. ❤

  9. So sterotpically Midwest, but it looks like a great place to be right now.

    Come by and get to know me at

  10. Believe it or not~ sounds like a dream…..

  11. awwww makes me wanna go!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s