In spite of the beautiful sunshine today, we are still being cursed by these below zero temperatures. Of course yours truly had to be out in it again, but not as much as yesterday. It appears we’re going to have it around our necks for another week.
Late this morning I had to show two properties to some people from out of town. Thank goodness the walks were shoveled and the driveways cleared. There’s nothing that irks me more than to trudge thru snow just to get to a front door. Remember, first impressions are the most lasting.
The showings went well along with having a good chat about towns and cities in Iowa. One of the towns that was brought up in conversation was Postville which is over an hour’s drive east of Mason City. We talked about the “then” and “now” with that town. Many years ago, while my grandmother was still living, we used to take autumn road trips to eastern Iowa and stop off at Postville to visit a graveyard where some of our long dead relatives are buried.
Back in those days, Postville was a charming community with tree-lined streets and a lively business district. It was likely a small hub for those even smaller towns in the area. Since it’s located out in a portion of Iowa where there were a number of milking farms at the time, the countryside would always be dotted with grazing milk cows. With the leaves turning on those rolling hills and seeing those cattle grazing, it created quite the bucolic visuals.
Fast forwarding to the present, the last time I was there which was about two years ago, I promised myself to never return unless absolutely necessary. Everywhere I looked looked, there was discord. Many of those once charming old homes are now rickety rentals with unkept yards. Seeing papers and garbage blowing up and down the streets was the most shocking, and to think it was once a progressive community where they took pride in the way their homes and businesses appeared.
On the flip side, Decorah which is not very far north of Postville, has been continually transforming itself into quite the up and coming community to where their real estate prices are noticeably greater than Mason City’s. Yes, they have their private college, but that’s not its key ingredient of success. I’d say their success story is one where they took a stand as a whole with their community vision and stuck to it. I believe Decorah was recently mentioned as being the most scenic as well as progressive small town in Iowa. I give them credit where credit’s due.
I’m hoping when you all begin reflecting on your accomplishments of this past year while giving yourselves good pats on your backs,and then afterwards you’ll begin thinking about what great personal achievements you’ll smile about this coming year. As Socrates once said, “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and weak minds discuss people.” Let’s stop busying ourselves about others and start coming up with great ideas, which with a little effort and hard work, will become lasting realities.
Wishing each and every one of you a delightful New Year’s Eve and Day, along with a healthy, happy, and productive year ahead!