Anna From Atlanta had no pedigree like Lady Carnarvon, but she shared much in common, namely her appreciation for tradition and beauty.
Anna’s colorful and delicious meals were a far cry from the plain meat and potatoes that the people of Iowa were used to. As she said, “Iowa dinner means fried pork cutlets, mashed potatoes, Iowa corn, and bread from the nearby Amana colonies–gray pork, gray potatoes, gray corn, and white bread. It was served on some light-colored plate, and it looked like all the color in that dinner jes’ got up and ran away.”
One of the authors’ favorite chapters in Anna From Atlanta is “Flowers Bloom” where Anna relates the bouquet of flowers she is gathering for the dinner centerpiece to all the types of people in our lives:
“See these flowers? They’re all different types and colors—and they’re all beautiful in their own way. Some are actually more beautiful than others, and some people would argue which ones are the most beautiful, ’cause we all have a different opinion. Well, over the next few days, some of these flowers will wilt and die—and some will continue on, as new lookin’ as when I first made the bouquet. We are like those flowers. Some of us wilt faster than others and some jes’ seem to go on forever—and we cain’t know which is which.”—Anna From Atlanta
There is another scene in Anna of Iowa where Anna, Fritzy and Joyce Worrell (aka Miss Joyce) enjoy a still quiet moment just before they receive some news that turns their world upside down. “Look there, how that cloud is casting a shadow on the pot of flowers over there,’ Miss Joyce said, pointing. “The cloud is giving the poor flowers some needed shade, I suppose.”
Anna speaks of flowers and clouds again at a funeral. “There was still a little chill in the air, but winter was fadin’ and the sunlight put the perfect spotlight on the pink and yellow flowers that were jes’ startin’ to bloom and the light green buds poppin’ out on the trees. The sky that day was baby blue with big puffy clouds. I thought to myself, ‘God, you sure like to juxtapose things in a weird way. You’ve painted a scene here with the majesty of spring and the darkest, most somber shadow of death all in the same frame.’”