This little house is the house I grew up in and lived in most of my life. The little house on Linnwill. In truth I will always think of myself as a “Linnwillian” first and an Iowan second. I wouldn’t say it was a house full of happy times, as a lot of sadness lived there. But it was my home. I lived there on and off, mostly on for all of my life, until 2005 when my mother died.

It was small, the main floor only 848 sq feet, but the truth is, I never thought of it as small until someone asked me once how three people who could have lived in that little house at the same time. My brother lived and mostly stayed in the basement. I had my own room. We all shared one TV – which was always on. Always.

This is my house in the early morning on May 6th 1986. Oh yeah and that is my wee little LeCar sitting out in front parked on the street, or the creek, depending how you look at it. This was a time when living in the basement wasn’t such a good thing for my brother! Oh well, he got a new bed out of the situation. And I got a new car. Who got the better deal?

One of the best things about growing up there was that our back yard opened up to Legion Park.

Swing sets, jungle gyms, slides, teeter totter. A wading pool. A Tennis court that became an ice skating rink in the winter. A baseball field, a basketball court. I loved that park and certainly felt like I was a part if it, and it was a part of me. I remember once, when I was about 20 or so, sitting in the park once night, a few friends and I, when a cop car drove in and parked. And the cop came over and ordered us to leave, as the park closed at 10. I actually said to him “I don’t understand, this is my park”. I did understand, I just never thought of it as something that closed. I mean it was my back yard.

The park looks nothing like it did in those days. Three tennis courts are now one. Both shelter houses have been torn down and new fancy things rebuilt in their place. The good old metal, they should last forever toys were all removed and replaced with some sort of manufactured stuff that is at ever playground everywhere. All the risk was removed! I cut my head open when I was four on the jungle gym and had to have stitches. Now that my friend is a true jungle gym! Today’s kids are pampered.

I couldn’t find any pictures of the park “back in the day” but found this on the Parks and Rec website. It doesn’t show much. And this isn’t the park how I care to remember it.

Anyway, all of this makes me think of this song by Karla Bonoff:


Traveling at night,
The headlights were bright.
But soon the sun came through the trees
Around the next bend
The flowers will send
The sweet scene of home in the breeze

And Home
Sings me of sweet things
My life there has it’s own wings
To fly over the mountains
Though I’m standing still