One of the possibilities in 2020 I'm very excited about is a visit to Somers, Iowa to see my Mom's younger brother, Kermit Rodewald. Above is a photo of Uncle Kerm that was posted to FB a few months ago by one of his granddaughters. She had taken him for sushi, his very first sushi experience in Iowa. I love the radiant smile of Uncle Kerm. And for sure, his willingness to try sushi.
Somers, Iowa is about 100 miles from the capital city of Iowa, Des Moines. I was in Somers in the spring of 1977, my senior year in High School. I was in Iowa visiting my maternal grandmother, Minnie Rodewald. Grandma Minnie lived in Rockwell City, which is about 10 miles from Somers.
My brother, Roger and his wife, Maria Elena and my niece, JoAnn visited Uncle Kermit and his family 2 or 3 years ago. They plan to go back this May. And I'm planning to go with them.
Somers, Iowa today has about 100 residents, yes 100. I just checked Wikipedia, in 1980 the population was 220. Uncle Kerm back then was a rural route US Post Office Mailman, his wife, Aunt Colleen was the US Postmaster. Aunt Colleen passed away many years ago. Uncle Kerm still lives in the same house I visited 43 years ago.
As you can imagine, I'm excited to see and visit with Uncle Kerm for many reasons. I will also get to see our first cousin, Tracy Rodewald and his family. My memories of Iowa, anytime I think of Iowa, I'm taken back to the wide open spaces, the movie set corn fields and the blue blue blue honest skies. I think of pies, all the pies my Grandma made for us, Butterscotch Pie my favorite. I think of vegetable gardens and canned everything, tomatoes, beans, onions, everything.
When I visited in 1977 I had dinner at Uncle Kerm's and Aunt Colleen's and we had venison and it was delicious. It was version cubed steaks, breaded and pan fried, delicious. Uncle Kerm back then was making an Everything but the Kitchen Sink salad, and it was just that. Imagine a large bowl of fresh lettuce leafs mixed in with everything you can imagine that is crunchy: carrots, tomatoes, celery, radishes, fresh peas, red onion, scallions, a bit of spinach, several cheeses, croutons, bacon, apples, corn, and on and on. Somewhere I have a list of all that he included in the salad. And yes the dressing was Ranch.
I've always associated kindness and caring with people from Iowa. Certainly I don't know that many people from Iowa, the ones I do know and have met, have always been that way. I'm so excited about the plans to visit with Uncle Kerm in May.
JoAnn, Kermit, Arleen