There was quite a crisp north wind blowing this morning when I arrived at the office. I almost thought I needed to wear a coat but as the sun rose higher in the sky, the day became one that will be memorable. I went out behind my office building and did some mowing and weeding for several hours. The air was so clear that everything visible seemed to have a perfect contrast to the surroundings. It was as though everything I looked at was singularly striking. I think with all the rain we have been having, the air has been cleaned of all the particles in the upper atmosphere. North Iowa and Mason City can have some of the most beautiful days during my favorite three seasons. At another time, I’ll talk about my feelings about our winters. This brings me tell you what a long time client told me some years ago. She was a high ranking military officer that traveled and lived in many cities here in the USA as well as other countries. In our numerous conversations she once said to me, “Joe, I know you wonder why I live in Mason City.” I was surprised she knew that I had indeed wondered why. “Well” she said, “I have lived in more places on this earth than most people even dream about. And I will tell you, living in the three better seasons of Mason City is the best I have ever seen.” Now that is something to write about. I believe that today, I experienced what she spoke about. We all should step back, and realize and be thankful for, the North Iowa communities where we reside. We must continue to not only take care of them, but to work at making them better.