I was unsuccessfully trying to get settled and get something done and then Reliable Street popped into my head. Instead of driving home to the west side of Ames, I headed toward North Dakota (Avenue not state). Almost out of town you will see an old feed mill, a remnant of the former small town of Ontario, and nestled under an outside awning, Lockwood Cafe. Last summer I’d learned their basil jalapeno lemonade was to die for, and recently I’d heard they had added an interesting variety of crepes to their menu.
It was hot, but there were large fans blowing, and under the awning I found a table and relief. Behind me was a large table of lunching Iowa Staters, but their talk slowly faded out of my consciousness as I turned my chair to face east. I was in the countryside. But I was still in Ames. I was in Ames AND the countryside. I could have my crepe and eat it too!
The old Doboy (Doughboy) feed mill and warehouse sits next to the railroad tracks, which dictates at least some surrounding green space. The visionaries who bought and are renovating this space have added a community garden. I enjoyed watching bunnies stick their noses through the chicken wire fence, offering to help with the harvesting. I could feel the country breeze on my face and luxuriate in a view of wild grasses (yes, I know some people call them weeds!) and crops and trees beyond. I didn’t get much writing done, but I felt rested and very green when I left.