About Iowa

I spent the last seven years in Central Pennsylvania. We are (Penn State.) Before that, I was born and raised in the Twin Cities. Minneapolis and St. Paul. You know, Paul Bunyan, The Mississippi River, and perpetually underperforming professional sports teams.

But all that’s behind me now. I’ve lived in Iowa for nearly six months. Time to take stock.


Iowa is hot. Have I mentioned that? Because if I haven’t, you should know, that Iowa is hot. And humid. It’s September as I’m writing this blog. But it might as well be July. Or the Sahara. I’m doomed if the world collapses and air conditioning stops being a thing. The locals swear things cool off in October. I pray they are correct. Because things have yet to cool off.

I’ve only driven home to the Twin Cities once since we’ve moved here. A peaceful, quiet drive. Lots of empty space. Lots of cornfields. Rolling hills. Lolling hills. Blue skies and flat earth. The Midwestern plains are not similar to the rise and fall of the Appalachian Mountains. But Eastern Iowa is, like Central Pennsylvania, mostly rural.

Iowa City is, like State College, a college town. Bars, college students, and handmade banners disparaging rival colleges during game weeks. This much is the same.

But Iowa City feels like a more progressive town. More of a hippy town. It reminds me of Madison. Good food, good beer, lots of art, and the slight scent of weed. I’m fine with all of that, though I don’t smoke pot. That stuff will rot your mind.

We live in a quiet neighborhood instead of nestled amongst rolling hills and quiet farmland. Still quiet, though. Mostly. There’s more sirens here. Not the seductive kind.

What else should I tell you about Iowa?

Iowa is bordered by rivers. It was part of French (and later Spanish) Louisiana. It is smack dab in the middle of the corn belt. American Indians have been living here for 13,000 years. European settlers came later. The Tanner family came much later. The state bird is the Eastern goldfinch. Not to be confused with the Western goldfinch. Iowa was the 29th state admitted to the union. Thanks, President Polk. Let’s go Polk?

I don’t know. I’m in the middle of the country. And it’s hot. I do like it here, despite the heat, That’s what I’ve noticed about Iowa so far.


I’m six months in. Still adjusting. Still learning about this place. And about my job in this place. I have no idea what the future holds, other than the future holds whatever the future holds, and I’ll keep improvising my way forward, safe in the knowledge that everything before this moment comes with me as I go into the next moment, even safer in the knowledge that this might be one of the longest sentences I’ve written in one of these blogs, as it is nearly five lines long and brimming with commas, clauses, and superficial words.

I’m here. That much I know. And it is good to be here.

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