Arriving at the farm

Three generations on the farm’s tractor. Photo by Katie Botkin.

A Letter from Katie Botkin in Iowa:

I land in the Midwest and call my dad, who has come to pick me up from the airport for a family reunion. I’d left Paris when it was still dark, and about 22 hours later, it starts to get dark again in Iowa. I fall asleep in the back seat as we head into corn and bean fields, out to the farm where my ancestors have lived for approximately the last 150 years. The Swedes came over and eked a life from the prairie, building one house, and then another. In the 1950s, my great-grandfather built yet another house, and this is where I go now, through the screen door I have been opening at every family reunion since I’ve been big enough to reach the handle.

I arrive at the farm at around 11 p.m. and my grandmother wakes up. I go into her little bedroom and kiss her. “Hello, Grandmother,” I say “I’ve come all the way from Paris today just to see you.”

“Well,” says my grandmother, who lived in Paris herself for awhile “Isn’t that nice.”



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