The Outback of Iowa

It seemed a much longer day when having to head out of town on an early morning appointment and then realizing I’d forgotten how many people commute to Mason City not long after I started heading north on Hwy 65. I’ve considered Worth County pretty much of a bedroom county because of there not being any large employers to speak of up there. With the consolidation that’s taken place with the farms, the homesites are fewer and farther apart which gets me wondering what’ll happen with those farms belonging to retired farmers after they pass because nearly always, their children have moved away and established their own careers which didn’t include farming.

I’ll wager in the next 10 years, we’ll be seeing even more acres being added to the portfolios of those big corporate farmers. It’s a bit scary when reading about how computerized the farm machinery is becoming to where there’ll likely be driverless ones found in those big fields in the near future. When speaking about this, I remember reading a scholarly article about 30 years ago that talked about what the upper Midwest will be like in 20+ years. Whomever wrote that piece, must’ve been someone who was able to step into the future because much of what he said has already come to pass.

We all know how Des Moines and the Cedar Rapids metro areas have grown, while continuing to expand with no signs of a slow-down. I fear that most of the rest of Iowa, with the exception of the “River” cities will be dubbed “The Outback of Iowa”. There may be more truth to it than we want to admit considering how cities like our own are suffering from year-over-year declines in population. Most have no idea how much I strongly encourage people to stay here in our City, but there are always those enticements for better paying jobs and more things to do in our State’s metro areas.

I’m once again saying we need to shift gears, and focus on getting more elderly to locate to Mason City. You can bet they’ve seen all they wanted to see, and done all they wanted to do, and now looking for quieter and gentler places to live out their remaining years. Someone said to me several days ago, “What is this City going to do when all those with real money either die or move away?” All I could say was, “Then there’ll be all the more struggling to make ends meet.”

When I arrived back to my office from my distant appointment, I got myself caught up on emails and phone messages that had come in while I was gone. By the time my list was finished, it was nearing the noon hour, so I drove down to one of the burger joints and grabbed a side salad and small burger. When I got back, I took a few bites of that burger and near instantly, I could taste a trace of bread mold. Since mold on bread isn’t considered a preferred condiment of mine, I wrapped it back up and threw it in the trash.  At least the salad was acceptable, and filling enough to where I wasn’t looking for something else to eat. I know if I would say something to the manager of that take-away, he’d think I was just looking for a free burger, so I won’t even mention it.

Having forgotten about it until now, a party mentioned something to me over the weekend which didn’t surprise me. He said that many of the UPS drivers he knows are picking up just about as many Amazon boxes at people’s doors as they’re delivering, and what they’re thinking, is that many people are ordering attire for some special event, and when their needs are fulfilled, they’re sending them back. Wouldn’t you know it, a similar thought came to me many months ago about Amazon’s return policies when considering the deviously clever minds of those who’re always trying to work the system. I can’t imagine myself doing such a thing because that’s on the border of down-right theft.

The bulk of my afternoon was spent working on files and coordinating appointments for later this week. I was in hopes it would’ve been a little warmer outdoors today, but the last time I looked, our high was only 42 degrees.

I later drove over to Good Shepherd to report on the progress of getting the remaining units of Prairie Place on 1st sold. It looks like there’ll be another one under contract this next week which will then bring the available units down to five, and if one of the others circling would pull their trigger, we’d be getting all the closer to having a full house.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Mentally, you can’t expect positive things to start happening in your life with a negative attitude.

Joe Chodur

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  • The Perpetual House Hunter says:

    Joe you seem to be having a hard time finding good burgers as of late. Wait until Kwik Star opens, they really have good ones…especially the angus burger. Their breakfast sandwiches are good also. Amazon will eventually ban customers if they have too many returns.

  • Justin says:

    If that Kwik Star has fried chicken like the Kwik Trips up here in Minnesota do, you’ll go nowhere else for lunch. It’s fantastic. Another great blog post, Joe.