Welcome Back to Iowa

I was born and raised in Iowa and have lived here almost all of my life, except for a four year hiatus in Minnesota, and of course, four years in Minnesota feels like twenty years anywhere else.   Kind of a “dog years” thing.

I’m still trying to get the smell of fish out of my clothing, and I still duck and swat whenever I see a bird, thinking that’s it’s a mosquito, but other than that I’m adjusting back to life in Iowa.

Actually, living in Sioux City is like living in three states, as it’s part of Nebraska and South Dakota also.  Our motto should be “At least it’s not Minnesota.”

Each state has something to brag about.  South Dakota has Mount Rushmore, and……..oh yeah, that small mini-mart in Sioux Falls that has about 200 brands of beer.

Iowa and Nebraska used to have the bragging rights to having Division I college football and basketball, but there hasn’t been much to brag about lately.  Be thankful the Hawks or Huskers haven’t had to play USD lately.

Basketball never was much in Nebraska, and now in Iowa, little Drake University is the powerhouse.  It’s pretty sad when a team of fine arts majors is the best basketball team in the state.

South Dakota natives like to brag about their lack of taxes, but of course, they have no state services either.  If you live in abject poverty, the state government sends you a free postage stamp once a year, so you can try to find a job in another state.

And the roads in South Dakota are woeful.  Once you get off the interstate, you’re worried that you’re driving through somebody’s cornfield.

The roads in Nebraska aren’t much better.  I was driving along a rutted, washed-out Class “C” dirt road and came to a sign that said, “Warning – Class “D” road ahead.  I couldn’t even image what that would be, so I turned around and went back.

Yes, Iowa has a great advantage in roads; some would say “too great an advantage”.  At one time I think our goal in Iowa was to pave every road in the state.  Then the legislature finally figured out that while our roads were getting better, our kids were getting dumber, and decided that money could be better spent.

At least the people in our three states are still the nicest in the country, even though today’s generation is going to hell in a hand basket.  Even in our little naïve part of the country, kids are getting too old too quick, and it’s the adults fault.  We keep pushing and pushing and then we complain when our 14 year-old wants to spend the summer backpacking through Europe.

I’ve also noticed that our driving manners in the area have hit an all-time low.  What’s with everybody flipping everybody off?  And since when did a car horn become an offensive weapon.  If you make any kind of driving error, someone will honk at you, not to warn you, but to scold you for your mistake, which leads to more flipping off and it’s just a vicious circle.

All this road rage makes me wonder what these fools would do if they lived in a city that really had traffic.  Then again, if you casually flip someone off in a city, you might get shot.

Still and all, it’s great to be back in Iowa where people will actually say hello even if they don’t know you, gas stations attendants will actually pump your gas, and grocery stores will carry out your groceries.  Life is all about the little things.