For one year, from Spring 2002 until Spring 2003, I lived in Des Moines, Iowa. Moving from my Mountain State to the Heartland was a difficult decision to make, but it was something I needed to do. On a personal and professional level, I was growing complacent: working in the same job for 17 years will do that, sometimes. I was going through the motions at work and in my day-to-day life, and I doubt I was the only one who was noticing.
The events of September 11, 2001 shook me up, and reminded me I needed to refresh myself.
In early 2002 a friend, the CEO of a business that fit my career skills, called and invited me to work with him in Iowa. It took some persuasion, but his call fit the need I had to explore, and to challenge myself. I agreed to stay one year; then, I loaded up the truck and headed to the Mid-West.
The first full day I was there, a small tornado touched down about a hundred yards from where my wife was standing. We were pretty sure at that moment that it was gonna be one year and done for us and Iowa.
My time in the state was a terrific learning experience for me. I met a lot of very nice people, and made some life-long friends. They put up with my non-stop complaining about cornfields, and I tolerated their cultural reluctance to engage in anything perceived as conflict. I traveled much of the state during my year there, and worked with many people who made me a better person for having known them.
I'm saddened as I watch the news about the recent devastating floods, and the horrific tornadoes. Saddened, and worried.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, friends.