It couldn’t have been a better day to speak about Summer. I had a great conversation with a young couple with a beautiful 1 year old baby boy who is in the stage of curiosity. So terribly cute! They are in the beginnings of looking for a home here in Mason City. The husband was offered a job with one of the local corporate companies so decided to take it last Fall. They’ve been renting and now they believe it’s time to move forward with a purchase or finding a better home to rent that will work for their growing family. They arrived here from somewhere far south of Iowa Highway 20. I smiled when I told them that I can pick up on accents even here in Iowa. We all laughed when I said, “If anyone is coming from below Highway 20, I will hear it in their voices. And if they are from deep into Minnesota or Wisconsin, I will hear that too!” Again we had another laugh. America is not a country, but rather a continent. Each and every State has its quirks in both local customs and language. After the extended conversation with them, I asked the Mrs., “So, what has been the most shocking thing you’ve found here in upper Iowa. She said, “What I’ve really noticed is that people just don’t want to be social. They seem to not want to talk to strangers. Where I come from, we at least say “hello” to perfect strangers when walking down the street.” I was a bit sad to hear that because I make every effort to at least acknowledge people when I am in the public. Teasing a bit I said, “You’ve arrived here in Mason City at the end of Fall and are now experiencing one of the worst Winters we have had in years and you are still here?” I went on to say, “I can assure you that after this terrible Winter is over, you will find the other three seasons to be the most delightful.”
Out of that meeting I walked away and thought how little our long time residents appreciate older two story homes because whenever I encounter a young family from far away, they nearly always gravitate towards the older and better built homes that not only offer a better bang for the buck in square footage, but also the hardwoods included. I can’t wait to see the look on the face of their toddler when he encounters a perennial bed filled with flowers splashing with color.