Some recent things that make Iowa even better.
1. Date night - Emily has grown old enough to babysit the rest of the minions and we finally don't have an infant. This has made our lives so much better. We aren't real inventive. Mostly we go out to eat. On date night we have found:
El Palomino in Des Moines. Small Latino market with fresh masa, posole, menudo, bulk dried peppers, and cuajada!
Pamel market in Ames - schwarma, biryani, samosas, and gyros. Nice Turkish family.
The Ames movie theater. The dollar theater closed. They couldn't afford to upgrade to digital projectors.
2. Mr Quick's hardware store. It is nice to be able to stop in and get advice on how to do just about anything.
3. Mike and Lisa next door. I was feeling itch and lonely Super Bowl Sunday. I dropped in uninvited and was given a spot on the couch.
4. Our ward. We have been there long enough that the teens I taught in Sunday school are on missions, or home from missions and getting married.
5. Farmers cheese at Fairway. Everything fairway. I could write and ode to that store and one is opening in Huxley.
6. The owl in our tree. I haven't heard him recently but all winter long as I lay awake in Becca's room I listen to that owl.
7. The bike trail. They made a trail out of the old railway lines between Slater and Cambridge. It actually runs most of the way across the state but my/our section is the only part I have used.
8. Ballard schools. I am proud of the good teachers, the band, that the middle school principal tells Kate that she brightens his day when she cuts through to use the bathroom. For some reason she won't go at her school but waits until she gets off the bus and then cuts through the middle school to do her business there.
9. Honey, eggs, beef, pork, gardens. We buy honey, beef, and pork from coworkers home farms. A woman in Kelly sells us eggs. It is more common to have a vegetable garden than not.
10. My kids think of Iowa as home. They have good friends without seemingly the pains I had as a kid trying to fit in and make friends.