Saturday, October 22, 2005

Iowa's state tree is NOT a telephone pole....

It's peak color time.
Brad and I took a drive to some of our favorite spots to dispell the myth.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A funny thing happened in Iowa last night....

Trip to South Dakota to shoot the mule deer: $500.

Cost to mount the head: $500

Telling your friends that your deer mount fell from the sky, an antler hit a girl on the head, caused the fire department, police and ambulance to report to the local college and the deer lived to tell about it: PRICELESS.

To everyone else: it's just a deer mount. To me: it's a story of a lifetime.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Arranger vs Pack Rat

I am an Arranger. I like things orderly. If someone moves my stapler - I move it back. Today I reorganized my filing system - again - and I enjoyed it.

They say there is a condition for my behavior - OCD. I can live with that. What I can't live with is: the Pack Rat and it's aftermath.

The photo above closely resembles many of the faculty desks at the college. For obvious reasons I avoid their offices as often as I can - for fear I might start to clean.

They are currently relocating to an office where they have smaller "personal" space. One of the instructors (who shall remain nameless) cleared most of his office today - and the amount of crap he removed from his current (5'x5') space greatly disturbed me.

Below is a short list of the items he had to take home:

  • 1 - 24 can case of Coke
  • 1 - 24 bottle case of Coke
  • 1 crockpot - with crusty food still located at the bottom
  • 3 calendars
  • 3 shot glasses
  • 2 coffee mugs

The sad part about this list: I didn't know he had ANY of it in his office until today.

This is what frightens me when my parents pass. They too are pack rats. I asked my mother 7 years ago for a cappuccino maker. She still hasn't found it. She mentioned she would give it to me when she found it. Still waiting. I wonder how long it will be......

This is a small example of my mother's obsession.....know what this room needs? An ass load of nutcrackers!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The things we leave behind

When relocating to new areas leaving family and friends can be the most difficult part of the move.

The In-laws

The family....

One of the most difficult things we had to endure when moving to Iowa was what we left behind. Don't get me wrong - there is something to be said for distance between family members (mom doesn't call every other day to have us fix a computer or remove some dead animal from under their porch - but that's for another time). I will say that times like those in the photos cannot be enjoyed as often; however when we do see each other the time is well spent.

So how have we coped from being far from family? We have made our own.

This is part of our Iowa family - and we hope to add more! We have an Indiana import (Scraggly), a Georgia return (ELK) and an Iowa lifer (Whit). Sure they will never fully replace our family - but they do help fill the void - and make you feel a little closer to home.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Where people matter...

As my husband and I sat watching Numb3rs (Episode #16) Obsession - I had an epiphany of what makes Iowa special. The celebrity on the show was quoted as saying "It's better than the alternative.....moving to Gary, Indiana. My mother lives there, no one pays attention to you there"

I lived just south of Gary for most of my life - I can attest to the truth of that statement. The only time someone payed attention to you was when you stole their parking spot at the mall...and then it wasn't a pleasant experience. There were many times that my husband and I actually believed we were indeed invisible. On more than one occassion we found ourselves sitting in an eating establishment for more than 20 minutes without one person stopping at our booth to offer us assistance.

Cedar Rapids home of 120,758 people is a big city with a small town mentality. When you drive down the street, people wave. When someone asks you how you are; they really want to know. Iowans are genuine, honest and friendly. I am even on a barter system to have my dog groomed.

The news is full of feel-good stories. I used to find this odd. Now I find it oddly comforting. Never would I think of my morning weatherman as "the guy next door".

Iowans often ask me why I would ever want to leave a place so close to Chicago - I sometimes wonder why it took me so long to leave.

From Chicagoland to Farmland

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Gary, Indiana (The Armpit of America)

Seven years ago my father-in-law was offered a job in Cedar Rapids, IA. My first impression (upon hearing and not visiting) was less than favorable.

But here I am, 7 years later living (and loving I might add) the beauty of Iowa. My blog is devoted to the reasons we chose to move and the reasons we choose to stay. Enjoy!