Appreciating Country Roads – Day 23

asset0
Being from Iowa, I have traveled many a country road. I learned to drive on dirt, gravel, blacktops and highways but I love country roads the best. I really appreciate country roads for the feeling of freedom they invoke with their wide open spaces and less traveled paths. There’s not much traffic on them and there’s a lot of landscape to see. When there is traffic, the “stranger” usually waves! They’re not really a “stranger” after all, but a sign of friendliness from the people I encounter in more rural places. There’s a feeling of connectedness that comes from being out in the country and on a country road.

I appreciate country roads for the views along the way, in the ditches, fields, or in the sky. I appreciate the wonders of nature that are evident from traveling down a country road. I appreciate the wildlife that I see along a country road. I really enjoy the sky from a country road and some of the most beautiful sunsets, shining stars, unusual cloud formations and spectacular lightning storms have been seen from a country road. Living in New York, I don’t see a lot of country roads these days. But whenever I do, it feels like home.

With that, I’m reminded of John Denver’s song, Country Roads. Take me home, country roads! 🙂

Advertisements

I Love My Iowa Hawkeyes!

I have a passion for college football, and particularly for my Iowa Hawkeyes team. They are my team and have been since I can remember. I’m originally from Iowa and particularly from the Iowa City area, so it follows that I’m a true Iowa Hawkeye fan. So if you add on a couple of degrees from the University to that, you have a recipe for a true fanatic. Then again, if you’re from anywhere in Iowa, you’re likely to either be a Hawkeye,  Cyclone or Panther fan. (Cyclones are the ones at Iowa State and the Panthers are from the University of Northern Iowa).   And if you dare to get confused on which school is which, watch out! The fans will set you straight right away.

Why do I love my Iowa Hawkeyes and college football in general so much? Let me give you a taste of what it means to me and how much I really appreciate it all.

I love the anticipation of  the weekly Saturday game, the camaraderie of talking about the upcoming game with other fans, the planning on where to watch it (or) where to tailgate and what to wear, if I have tickets and can travel back for the game, the suspense and controversy over the weekly football rankings, the unity of the fans brought together toward a common goal, the excitement inside the stadium, full of rituals like the marching band, the tunnel and the players who join hands together entering the stadium like a herd of hungry cattle rushing into a pasture of green grass to eat, the coordinated effort of which color to wear for a particular game, the celebration of every first down, and particularly those key plays like interceptions, forced fumbles and 70 yard + touchdown runs, the energy of a stadium full of fans cheering on their team, the excitement of the players as they encourage fans to yell loudly by waving their hands up and down, the noise from the crowd of the opposing team’s 3rd down attempt, cheering our defense on,  the appreciation of the fans by the players when after a win on the road when the team gathers to sing the “Iowa Fight Song” together with their fans…..

….I could go on and on but it’s time to take a deep breath! 🙂 What is evident about being a Hawkeye fan is that we are extremely passionate and loyal to our team. I “survived” the years of Iowa Hawkeye football where we used to hold the national record for the most losing seasons, and was a loyal Hawkeye and would go to games, even when we got beat by scores like 64-0. The difference between then and now is that the fans would get excited if we scored ANY points at all back then, while now we’ve seen a much more favorable winning streak over the years.

Hawkeye fans are special fans. They stick with their team over decades, pass down family traditions generation after generation, have all types of Hawkeye gear to show off their Hawkeye pride, and can tell you where they were watching the Iowa vs. Michigan game in 1985–and if they’re not old enough to remember that game, they have a family member who does so they’ve heard the story of how exciting that game was between the #1 Iowa vs. #2 Michigan. (By the way, I was in the stands, cheering on my Hawkeyes to the victory.)

Iowa football  brings people together in ways that people wouldn’t normally get together otherwise, united by the ONE thing that matters: their black and gold. I love how being a Hawkeye fan connects me with others.  I can travel the world with an Iowa Hawkeye shirt on and always find someone who yells out, “Let’s go Hawks!” or makes a comment about how good the game was.

Yes, I love my Iowa Hawkeyes and I’m glad I was born a Hawkeye fan. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Didn’t you know that it’s in our genes? 🙂  And no matter how far away I live from Iowa City, I will always be a Hawkeye fan.  Let’s go Hawks!