I looked at my dad, with all my 7 year old wisdom, and calmly told him he was wrong.
"It's called Iowa, Dad," I explained. "Not, I-OWE-A!"
It didn't seem to matter how many times I explained this to my dad, it never changed. He was set in his ways and he was going to pronounce it his way. He had several of these unique-to-him words and I tried my best to teach him the correct pronunciation, but I failed, this being my first teaching job and all. He continued to say I-OWE-A. There was also the word PO-lice, as in the people who give traffic tickets. And let's not forget about "chim-ley," the brick thing on the outside of the house. We used to pick on his about his pronunciation quirks often, and he would grumble about old dogs and new tricks.
She's working on the middle of the United States...Kansas, Missouri, and so on.
Maddie: Mom, can you hand me I-OWE-A please?
Me: What did you say?
Maddie: Can you pass me I-OWE-A?
Me: I stare at her with my jaw hanging open and she stares back wondering what my deal is.
Maddie was born a year and a half after my dad passed away. While we used to tease my dad about his handful of odd sounding words, it's not a story she's ever heard.
Once I got past the surprise of hearing her use his special vocabulary, it made me smile. I couldn't help but think, at least for just a minute, that there was a special connection between them. It made my heart (and face) smile.