And remember, I came here voluntarily from St. Louis, a delightful place where winter temperatures almost never hit single digits and 4 inches of snow halts life as we know it. I didn’t know how good I had it.
But, here I am, an Iowan-on-purpose, braving winter number nine in this frozen place. It’s days like these, when the temperature might not ever rise above zero and the view out my window looks like this:
That I must remind myself why I chose this place:
- It tries! I’ve never seen a city try so hard (and succeed) at changing its personality. Since I’ve been here, the growth and diversity has astounded me. I dig the energy of it all. It’s like watching a really good makeover show and getting the added benefit of increasing property values.
- Access. Professionally, I’ve had some amazing experiences in this city that I probably wouldn’t have had in a larger one. I’ve gotten to sit down with the leaders of prominent businesses and take the lead on regional marketing and communications projects. I’ve gotten to get to know lots of young professionals and I feel truly connected to the community.
- Short commutes. Only in blizzard conditions does my drive to/from work last more than 20 minutes.
- My house. I never thought I could love a house with one bathroom in Iowa, but hey, life is surprising.
- Excellent restaurants. Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was in Des Moines. Places like Lucca, Alba, Miyabi 9, Django and Café di Scala are raising the bar and I’m glad to support them. Also, Tasty Tacos.
- Husband, cat, turtle. All of which I have acquired by way of the great state of Iowa.
- Summer. I appreciate it way more than I did when I lived in the Lou. Windows open, yard-mowing, gardening, and the occasional afternoon cocktail in the sun are all a little better when you’ve shoveled snow drifts that reach your hips.
That’s not a full list, but enough to power me through the rest of this week. Tomorrow, the HIGH here is negative two. Ay yi yi.Why are you where you are?