Weather Conspiracy and Other Matters

1. The first half of January in Des Moines was so nice, weather-wise, that I had become convinced that the tales of severe Iowan winters were just a myth cobbled up and promulgated by the locals to keep expat New Yorkers like us from moving here. I have ridden my bike, worn shorts and hiked more in the past three weeks than I ever did in any winter month during my 18 years in Albany. Nice! Unfortunately, though, yesterday the temperature dropped into single digits, the wind kicked up with 50 mile per hour gusts, and the dry, stinging snow started flying. Oh well . . . I guess they do have winter in Iowa. But with an annual average snowfall of only 33 inches, I can’t imagine it being worse than a typical endless, icy, sleety, dark Upstate New York cold season. Fingers crossed. Katelin and I did some really nice walks during the warm spells, including another trek out the Great Western Trail and a nice walk around Saylorville Lake, per pics below:

Beautiful rural cemetery in Cumming, Iowa.

Road between Cumming and its cemetery, under big Midwestern skies.

Creek on the Great Western Trail.

On the Great Western Trail. (I love the missing blades on the weather vane, and the bullet holes in its tail, which become more obvious and visible if you click to enlarge this shot).

Trees reflected in a frozen creek, on the Great Western Trail.

Katelin on the trail around Saylorville Lake.

I will eat your soul . . . . I want your soul . . . .

Uhhh . . . . I think we will pass, thanks . . .

2. When I was in sixth grade, our family lived at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, while my dad attended the Army’s Command and General Staff College there. Last weekend, Katelin, Marcia and I went down to Kansas City for a night on the town, and on our way there, we popped over to Leavenworth to assess the old homestead. It didn’t look half bad, honestly:

We lived in the end unit of this apartment complex.

My bedroom window was the one on the second floor of the end unit, closest to the front of the house. When I looked out this window, I saw the distinctive dome of Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. My next door neighbor was Rob Heinsoo, who went on to achieve a high degree of acclaim as a game designer, including serving as the lead designer for the fourth edition of Dungeons and Dragons. His brother (another Eric) and I were among his very first dungeon victims, and it was an absolute hoot to read about his tentative first dungeons many, many, many years later in this interview. I still remember the School for Dragons . . . there was no going forward after we bumbled into that. The Napoleonic war game mentioned in the interview was based on the Battle of Jena-Auerstädt and to this day, the only things I know and retain about that battle are based on the game. That was also the year that I became a life-long Kansas City Royals fan. Needless to say, Fort Leavenworth holds fond memories for me!

3 thoughts on “Weather Conspiracy and Other Matters

  1. Im sorry, my first reply has been errased. Maybe you can help me! Im looking for a family named XXXXX,(XXXXX and XXXXX appr. 70 years of age) and daughter XXXXX appr. 50 yrs. of age. They once lived in cumming Iowa next to a grocery store on a gravel road. Its been a long time, im talking about 1974. Maybe they are still living there, i dont know, but maybe you do!!? 🙂
    XXXXX had a gasfilling buisiness and XXXX`s parents owned the grocery store wich had a slaughterhouse in the back, thier name was XXXX. XXXXXXXXX are very religiouse they went to church in Des Moines, nearly 3 times a week (i think it was a babtist church). I hope you can help me, for me it is very important!
    By the way, your pictures here are really beautiful, it makes me want to come back to the states, wich i really miss alot!!
    Best regards and God bless you

    Pete

    • Hi Pete,

      I replied to the e-mail address you gave privately, saying that I did not have any information about the people you are seeking, and that I am uncomfortable putting such personal name information up in public on my website about people I do not know. I have published your post for now with the names removed, just so you see this response. Thanks for kind words about the photography, and good luck with your search. I am sorry I am not able to help you with it, but if the limited information above generates any leads from people in the area, I will forward them to you.

      Best,

      Eric

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