I was watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition tonight, and was reminded of an episode a few weeks ago. The family was from Iowa, and had moved from the city out to the farm because they thought it would help their kids to grow up “right.” The reason they got a home makeover was that they had a fire and their house burnt down.
They built them a beautiful house, had a few sentimental moments, and the obligatory Iowa activity–a combine derby. Even having been a trophy girl at a tractor pull this summer, I didn’t know combine derbys existed until a fellow Iowan at school told me.
Anyway, after the house was built the Extreme Makeover team kept talking about how friendly and caring the Iowans were, helping with construction, moving furniture, etc. And I couldn’t disagree more.
The episode came up in the teacher’s lounge the next day, and I was surprised that we all agreed–this shouldn’t have happened. In the towns where we grew up, no one would have let someone’s house burn down without rebuilding it. A good neighbor and a good small town pulls together to get families through those times. There are soup suppers and pancake breakfasts and change cans at Walmart to help raise money. People give money for their school tuition and donate clothing.