Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Out of Context



When I was driving home this afternoon, southbound on the M74 between Hamilton and the exit to the A71, I saw a Chevy SUV on the motorway. This was unusual in itself. There are more Chevys being sold in the UK these days, but the thing that made me go "Hey!" was that this gas guzzler was sporting Iowa license plates!!! On top of that, they were from Linn County! I grew up in Linn County. More specifically, Mt Vernon not too far from Cedar Rapids, the county seat.

I was all set to flag this person down and ask him what he's doing all the way in SW Scotland with an Iowa vehicle. Then I noticed a two smaller things. 1. A W-04 bumper sticker (George Bush presidential campaign sticker) and 2. A Confederate flag sticker on the rear window. Last time I checked, Iowa was waaaaay north of the Mason-Dixon line. Maybe it was on the SUV when he bought it and just never got around to taking it off. He was turning off the road anyway and I was staying on. Never mind.

It was nice to see the Iowa plates. It caused me to be awash in homesickness for my old prairie state. I do miss Iowa. Big fields of corn, barns, thunderstorms, picnics in the park, camping, canoeing, knowing all the bird songs and not being a foreigner just as soon as I open my mouth.

Did I tell you that I bought some crickets in the pet store the other day? I did. I've got them in a plastic bug container. If I can keep them alive, I'm hoping that the male crickets will chirp this summer. There aren't many chirping crickets in the UK and I miss that particular summer evening sound.

It was a beautiful day in SW Scotland today. Apparently it was raining just about everywhere else in the UK. After I had seen this Iowa Chevrolet, I was wondering if I would ever move back. I don't want to say never . . . . . for as much as I miss Iowa, I can't imagine leaving here.

12 comments:

Paradise Driver said...

Remember, Home is where the heart is. And your heart is in Whitelees.

Do you speak with a Scottish accent now or do you still have the tall corn sound of Iowa in your voice? I see that you spell British style. Just curious.

Peggy said...

Spelling was the first thing to go as the US spelling at work was seen as incorrect. Everybody here says that my years in the UK haven't touched my accent however my sisters say that the midwestern accent is going around the edges.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I know what you mean about "being a foreigner just as soon as I open my mouth"... I left UK 40 years ago and I still can't talk like a real Canadian. But I think I have developed a sort of mid-Atlantic accent now. But when I visit the States, everyone wants to listen to me... they love the Brits down there.
And I still spell colour the British way!

J-Funk said...

I miss Iowa too!

That's about the weirdest place to see an Iowa license plate that I've ever heard.

I find myself spelling things the British way and I've never even lived there. I must have picked it up from books I've read. My dad says I picked up a Minnesota accent just in the six years I was there but I think I'm losing it already.

Joe said...

Wow, that's a long way from Linn County. I've always wondered where you'd end up if you took that gravel road that goes east off Highway 1 North of Mt. Vernon. Maybe now I know...

sally said...

I NEVER get homesick for Iowa. I love the place and think it's cool, but I would miss the ocean, the cities and all the weirdness of New Jersey.

I don't think I have a midwest accent unless I hear myself on the answering machine. Oh for the love of mustard!!

Tink said...

You BOUGHT crickets? Oh girl. I would have sent you some for free! :)

Peggy said...

ex-shammickite - The US vowels come back as soon as I talk to an American. My kids say they can tell when I'm talking to fellow Americans on the phone.

j-funk - You must be one of natures own chameleons!

joe - Do you think that road leads to the M74 and not to Springville?

sally - You sound more "Jersey Girl" each year that goes by. Especially when you say horrible. It comes out as "haarrible".

tink - I'm sure there are strict import laws about insects through the post, but thanks anwyay. They didn't cost much. (pennies)

Kell said...

I would miss the sounds of crickets, too. But by the looks of your photos, you've got a beautiful place to live there.

Jay said...

That's really amazing! An Iowa plate in Scotland. I guess it's somebody who has moved there and had his vehicle shipped over? Or Military? Seriously, just why would have had that vehicle shipped over there?

I do admit that Cedar Rapids and Iowa City are very nice. The only time I've ever been there the people were so warm and friendly.

Claude said...

When I last saw you, I thought you spoke with an American accent, definitely NOT a Scottish one.
Crickets are supposed to start chirping when it gets really warm, does it ever get hot in Scotland? ;)

Xtreme English said...

your spelling definitely has changed. good for you: when in rome.....

i love the little bits of british slang you let drop from time to time: "chuffed," "git"...and more

as for iowa, it's a lovely place to visit, but think of just two words: ICE STORMS. (or don't you remember crawling on your hands and knees across the intersection of highway 1 and main st to get to the jack & jill for milk?)

xo, ma