Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Field of Dreams

Slowly, we made our way down a narrow gravelly road nestled between corn fields and corrals inhabited by smelly but beautiful cows. My 7 year old nephew was enthralled. So much different than home... The colors were so vibrant and rich. The smells? Well, they were... strong? The sound of the wind rustling through the corn fields was unfamiliar but calming.  My nephew and I agreed that we really liked Iowa.

Suddenly, the rustic beauty of the farm country was interrupted by... baseball! 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the movie THE FIELD OF DREAMS starring Kevin Costner. The original set of the movie still sits in the middle of farm country in Dyersville, IA. It's become quite the tourist attraction over the years. 

The boy and I unloaded our baseball mitts from the back of the car, pulled on our sunglasses and hit the outfield for a little game 
of catch. Then, we headed into the edge of the corn field to get our pictures taken. 

"I'm melting!" he laughed, quoting the movie.

Later, we picked a spot on the bleachers to watch a family that was running the bases and taking a few swings at the plate. We ended our visit with an expensive visit to 
the gift shop where we bought gifts for everyone back home and my nephew collected the spoils of a child who had been accidentally nailed by a fly
ball that his aunt had thrown. (Yes, I hit him. ON
the Field of DREAMS. I know...)

What a great day that neither of us will ever forget! A dream come true of sorts, right in the middle of a field of corn...

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today is the 8th anniversary of the day the world stopped. Or seemed like it stopped. 

Eight years ago. I was working as a traffic manager at an ad agency. Every morning before I left for work, I would sit in front of the TV, watching the today show & eating my breakfast instead of working out, which was my intention nearly every morning when I woke up. Shortly after flipping on the television, I watched as the 2nd plane plowed into the side of the World Trade Center. It was completely unreal. I thought maybe I hadn't seen it right or it was a figment of my imagination. But then the news anchors started shouting and asking each other if, indeed, that was a plane. And then life shifted to slow motion. And reality unfolded right before our eyes.

I went to work that day anyway. But we all huddled in one office, listening to the radio that belonged to our senior art director. There was speculation around our city that various buildings would be closed in a national security effort. And throughout the morning, an uneasiness settled in my stomach. I just wanted to go home and be there. Finally our senior art director stood up and said, "I'm taking my son [one of our production artists] and we're going home to be with our family." Soon we all followed suit. Nothing seemed more important at the time.

It was a day that changed the way I looked at so many things. It reminded me of how much I loved my family, of the pride I have in country, of the joy I find in my freedom, of how short life is and that we should do our best to truly LIVE and leave a positive imprint when our time is up. It reminded me to be thankful for every day and for the hard work and dedication of others. And it taught me that we have a responsibility for self but also toward each other.