Posts Tagged ‘iowa’

Mother/Daughter–Parallel lives

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

It’s uncanny how lives can be so similar at times.  Two people who live in two different states, going through so many of the same things.  My daughter and I both just moved to new houses and new lives in new towns.

10360244_10152160368227844_3007280055751781245_nMy daughter Jill just graduated from Wayne State College in May.  She and her husband (they just got married last June) picked up and moved to Cambridge, Nebraska.  Cambridge is a small town in western Nebraska with a population of about 1000 people.  Jill’s husband, Dexter, took an Industrial Tech teaching position there at the high school.   Jill, an Elementary Ed teacher, will be substituting this year while waiting for an anticipated opening next year in the same school system.    They just got done moving and unpacking into a cute rental house in town, and are meeting new neighbors and friends as they discover their new surroundings.   Jill is also writing a blog about her moving experiences and trials and tribulations of beginning a new life chapter (like mother, like daughter).   Here is the link to her blog: http://improvisethislife.wordpress.com/.

And of course I just moved to Atlantic last September and started blogging my journey through it.  And just a few weeks ago, Mark and I bought a new house here.  We decided that to truly begin this life together as a couple we should make a fresh start and leave the past in the past.   We are making this new house ours and I love it!   So… the past several weeks have been spent packing, moving and now unpacking just like Jill and Dex.  No wonder I haven’t written a blog post in over a month!    A big shout out to the young men who helped us actually move our stuff from one house to another.  Mark lined up about 6 college-aged guys to do the heavy lifting and they worked hard all day.  We are so grateful for their strong backs and hard work!   It’s still a transition and we will be unpacking for the next several weeks I’m sure, but when I get stressed I just look at the view from our deck and it calms me.

backyard

Jill and I also compare some of the small town-isms and new couple-isms that we both notice.  Dexter is also from a small town, like Mark.  We both notice that the men need ‘meat’ in all of their meals.  Jill and I would be completely content to eat mac and cheese for lunch and call it a meal, but both Dex and Mark would want ham, sausage or at least a hot dog with it!    And Jill was surprised that the grocery store in Cambridge said she could put items ‘on credit’ and pay them off later.  That is unheard of in the big cities we are used to!  Mark does the same thing here at the local hardware store.  Crazy to us city girls and wonderful at the same time!  🙂

It’s fun to have someone going through the adjustment of small town life at the same time so we can compare notes and giggle about it together.  It’s great to know that my daughter understands my life changes and adventures as much as I understand hers.  It’s good we have each other.

Julie

Discovering Iowa One Town at a Time

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Real estate business is picking up this spring, and I’ve shown several homes to potential buyers. Many of the homes I’m showing are out in the smaller towns in Iowa surrounding Atlantic. I’ve been to Harlan, Irwin, Kimballton and Elk Horn recently. I’ve shown farm houses on small acreages with barns, hog pens, chicken coops and stables. I’ve learned about well water testing, septic system operations and propane heating. Rural life is new to me, and yet so normal and common place to everyone in these small towns. I think some people here get a kick out of my questions, assuming that everyone knows how a farm operates. I’m the ‘city girl’ asking silly questions these days, but I’m learning!

Harlan, Iowa downtown square

Harlan, Iowa downtown square

I DO enjoy seeing the different towns. I think Harlan is a really nice ‘bigger’ small town with a lot going on. They have a quaint town square downtown, but the outskirts are growing and developing with several beautiful housing areas and newer business parks.

Kimballton and Elk Horn are communities with a deep Danish Heritage. Kimballton has a replica of ‘The Little Mermaid’ a statue made famous in the harbor in Copenhagen, Denmark which honors the H.C. Anderson fairytale, “The Little Mermaid”. Elk Horn has a Danish Museum and a real operating Danish Windmill. I sold a house in Elk Horn to a woman moving here from Denver. She fell in love with the feel of the town and the community. I have to admit, I did a bit too!

Danish Windmill, Elk Horn, Iowa

Danish Windmill, Elk Horn, Iowa

The Little Mermaid statue in Kimballton, Iowa

The Little Mermaid statue in Kimballton, Iowa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also noticed that while going to these towns I was driving on the Iowa Western Skies Scenic Byway. I googled it when I got home and discovered that Iowa has several ‘scenic byways’ throughout the state. Here is the link to them: http://www.iowadot.gov/iowasbyways/IowaBywaysTravelGuide.pdf.  Mark and I love to get on the motorcycle and just explore for an afternoon. I’m looking forward to checking out some of these routes and new small towns.

downtown Atlantic, Iowa

downtown Atlantic, Iowa

And of course I am loving Atlantic. I love the beautiful downtown with its many trees and shops, and the recreation areas and the organizations I’ve joined. I have come to know so many wonderful people and have been welcomed into the community with open arms.  This is truly my home now.

The Atlantic Golf and Country Club

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

atlantic_golf_small Just about two years ago I made my first trip to Atlantic for Mark’s 50th birthday party. He had his party at the Atlantic Golf and Country Club.  Mark has been a member there for about 30 years, give or take a year or two.  He went there as a kid and teenager to swim at the pool.  He took his children to the same pool while they were growing up, and he’s played many rounds of golf on the 18-hole course.  He and his family have enjoyed countless meals and social engagements at the bar and restaurant.  It’s been a place where life time friendships have been built.   And he invited me in.

I met about 100 of his closest friends that night of the party.  These were people he’d grown up with, his high school buddies, his parent’s friends, and his daughter’s friends.  The country club was the meeting place, the glue that bound them all together over the years.

Over the past two years I’ve grown to know many of these people through activities at the club.  I’ve played in a Pitch card tournament.  I’ve played Friday night 2-ball golf.  I’ve watched the golf “Tournament of Champions.”  I’ve had many meals and Friday night get togethers with others in the bar. I’ve become friends with the bartenders and wait staff.  This year I celebrated my own 50-year birthday with several new friends there and I’m going to be golfing on the women’s league on Thursday nights this spring.  They might regret that decision later!

I feel incredibly grateful for the wonderful new friendships I have developed through my association with Mark, his past friendships and the Atlantic Golf and Country Club.  I know they are running some new member specials this year.  I joined as a member with Mark and I’m looking forward to many years of new memories!  Call Sheryl for questions about joining.

The club is located at 102 West 29th Street, Atlantic, Iowa 50022.   The general manager is Sheryl Dusenberry.   Phone number is (712)-243-3656.

Website: http://www.theagcc.com/Home_Page.html

I hope I see you out there!

Julie

Atlantic_Golf_Country_Club_238425 agccinside

 

A New Experience-Ice Fishing!

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Mark has been telling me how much fun ice fishing is for the past couple of years.  In the winter months he and his buddies get their fishing poles ready, bundle up in cold weather duds, grab the ice hut and beer and head to a local lake or farm pond on a pretty regular basis.   He always comes home in a good mood (maybe it’s partly the beer) bragging about how many fish he caught compared to the other guys.  They tell the story differently, of course.

It’s always sounded like fun and I wanted to try it sometime, but I truly don’t like be to cold and thought that sitting on a frozen lake getting wet fish off a hook would be miserable.  But this past Sunday I decided to give it a try.  The temperature was a balmy 46 degrees, which after the sub-zero temps we’ve had lately felt like a heatwave.  Yes, it was really windy, but the ice hut would block the wind.  So we went.  We went to a local farm pond, parked the truck and put our gear (fishing poles, bucket for the fish, auger, wax worm bait and beer) into the ice hut bottom and pulled it all out onto the ice.  Mark used the auger to drill three holes in the ice.  It was about 15 inches deep.  We set up the ice hut, climbed in, zipped it shut and got the poles out.  I got a lesson in ice fishing…letting out the line, watching for the bobber to pull, setting the hook and reeling one in.  I caught my first fish fairly quickly, within about 5 minutes of putting my first line in the hole.  Pretty exciting!  I caught my second fish shortly after that, then about 10 more within an hour or so.  Mark was catching them too and we had quite a haul when we left 2 hours later.  It was fun!   My feet were the only part of me that got a bit cold at the end of the outing, but otherwise I was comfortable and warm the entire time.  Who knew that I could actually enjoy ice fishing!?  We packed up and came home.

Mark set out to clean the fish and I offered to help.  So he filleted them and I ribbed them.  I think he was surprised that I would actually handle a fish.  Please…I was a girl scout!    We had about 25 fish total, mostly bluegill and a couple of crappie.  Last night we fried some up and had them for dinner.  Delicious!

Just another fun Iowa adventure!  Oh yeah…and I think I caught more than Mark.  🙂