Current weather conditions

Click for Dexter, Iowa Forecast

Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."




Trying to explain growing up on the farm to someone who grew up in the city is never easy. There are so many things that only farm kids can really understand. A fun exchange the other day about my new fire ring sitting on the edge of a cornfield made me remember the warning we got as young kids to stay out of the corn.

It may have simply been one of those urban legends, the stories about the kids who went off to play in the cornfields and got lost and never came back home. They would be only found at harvest when the field was picked and your lifeless skeleton was discovered. Getting lost in the corn would mean you would never get back home, life would go on, but you would eventually be forgotten. As boys are apt to do, we don’t listen, and played in the field a few times, but usually stayed clear because the leaves would slice into your arms and scratch at your face.


Oh sure there were a few scary times when the cows would get out and I remember being terrified a time or two, stepping through the rows of stalks trying to find the offending cow, only to stumble face to face with her in the next row, she at a dead trot away from someone else who was looking and me frozen in terror, sure that she would trample me to death.


In my travels when people asked where I came from, my answer usually was replied to with “oh, the place with all the corn!”. Corn fields were a part of who we were, the places that held the wealth and hopes of the family. It was those fields that we searched hard in the spring to see the little green shoots of corn sprouting. Where the first few lightning bugs would appear from on those warm summer evenings. They were places where family pictures were taken and where we learned to ride in wagons as the harvest was brought in.

It’s an amazing plant when you think about it. Not only does it affect the economy in this area, but also the weather. Arizona can keep their “dry heat” and I’ll take a steamy humid Iowa day where you can hear the corn growing any day.


It’s been a few years since I’ve ventured into the corn, but decided the other day to take a walk and see what would come to me in my “being still” time. I left a note on the kitchen table, just in case it was true and I got lost in the corn, and wandered out in the rows. I remembered as a boy learning that if you got lost to walk to the end of the row, where you would meet the end rows (I’ve heard them called headlands and point rows since then but my family always called them end rows). Once you found the end rows you would just step through until you came to the edge of the field and freedom.


I wandered out in the middle of the field with the wind blowing the green leaves with just a hint of gold as they began to dry. I looked up watching the clouds roll along through the tassels and down at the good black dirt that supported generations of my family. I walked along and came to a large hole, the obvious den of a fox or coyote, although the more I think about it I’m glad I didn’t stand around to do more discovering as I’m sure I’m not on friendly terms with the neighborhood badgers. I strolled on farther, finding a piece of steel in the ground, a left over relic from some broken piece of equipment. I ran my hand over the surface of the rusted metal, the few spots that held orange paint beginning to peel. It reminded me of the hours spent plowing, of trips back and forth over the fields pulling the disc, those good memories of my childhood.


I sat down and closed my eyes and listened to the sounds around me. Around me the sound of the leaves, a crow chirping a response to my presence, the sound of tires on that gravel road that was our main outlet to the world, all kept me calm, knowing that I wasn’t lost completely although it did become hard to get ones bearing after a while.


It was in this space as a child that I grew up and found God, and today was a place I found Him again. I was reminded of how alone we can feel sometimes, yet how important each of us is to the big picture. Like those stalks of corn, it takes all of us to make the field. We all have to be careful not to crowd out the other plants and together we hold hope and dreams of generations. It was a good hour before I found my way out of the corn that afternoon. I was sure at one point I wouldn’t have been found until harvest, but as I emerged out of the end rows the sun shone down brightly on my face, as if God was there looking down and saying to me, it’s good to have you back home.


We all get lost from time to time in the field. It happens to the best of us, we wander out to do a little exploring and before we know it we have lost our way and are sure that it will be harvest before were missed or found. But in those moments of panic, when we have lost ourselves, we need to remember to find the end rows; step through and that will lead us back home.


See you next week…Remember, we’re all in this together.