It was quite the dramatic change in temperatures when finding it hovering around 50 this morning along with a brisk northerly wind to make it feel all the colder. The heat we experienced last week already seems so far away. A number of people I know have always said how much they love Fall. I’ve always felt it to be the slow death of Spring’s desire. But as we all know, in all aspects of Nature there’s a time to be born, a time to grow, and a time to die. And yes, Winter is supposed to be the time of rest before re-birth, but why does it have to last so long? Winter should be a nice short nap instead of a very long slumber. So here we are, on the threshold of another time of cold and thinking about all the things we should have, would have, and could have done if there were just more hours in the day as well as fewer distractions. I went with a client this morning for a quick light breakfast at one of the local corporate-chain eateries. It never ceases to amaze me how many retired people go to those places and huddle at a table or two to get their daily does of smack while sipping away at their cups of coffee. What irritates me the most in the few times I’ve been to those places for breakfast, is how I’m nearly continually watched by the huddles. It makes you wonder if what they’re talking about is all that interesting or if a near perfect stranger’s appearance will give them something fresh to chew on. I get it when thinking about many likely not having much of a highlight to distinguish one day from another, but after all, there are more constructive things to do in groups. Over these many years I’ve heard people tell me all the productive things they’re going to do when they retire. Unfortunately, not many that I know have fulfilled those promises. There are dozens of things they could be doing as a group to help enrich our community to where any visiting stranger to North Iowa would say, “Wow, these people really have their act together!” I happened to visit with a client some weeks ago about how a town near here is noticeably different than its neighbors. He said, “I really believe what makes them shine is their willingness to freely help each other whenever a need arises.” After digesting his words, I believe he’s right because there’s no other reason for that town to stand high and above its peers. That’s all it takes is a small group of vibrant people with a vision for making life in our communities all the better.
While driving back to my office from an appointment early this afternoon, I drove past the Stockman House and noticed how charming it looked today. I happened to have my camera with me so I stopped and took the above photo. The red geraniums and vines in the window boxes really helped to set the tone. The home was designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built at 311 – 1st St. SE. There were a group of concerned citizens that came together to have it moved to its present site since First United Methodist Church needed the land for additional parking. Even though the home was a “budget” design for Dr. G. C. Stockman, it still successfully exhibits the Prairie School principles of design developed by Wright. After it was moved, it was turned into a popular museum visited by busloads of tourists to our fair City. This is yet one more example of how vision can turn into an enduring reality for everyone to enjoy.