I haven’t been to Iowa since I was a year old. And it’s beautiful here. But it doesn’t feel like home.
A recent comment from a reader in Oregon noted that said reader was thinking of moving back to the midwest. I don’t know, man. I’ve lived a lot of places, and San Francisco is home for me because I’ve spent more time there than anywhere else. But also because I have a thing for major Universities, the ocean, theater, symphonies, and 24-hour days. So I’m probably staying somewhere between The Pacific Northwest and Northern California. Iowa and Missouri are (mostly) gorgeous, but things close earlier than I can handle. And I don’t fit here. There is no soy for my coffee, nor is there nonfat milk. Nor is there coffee. There’s coffee flavored water. And that’s okay, but it doesn’t feel like home. There is no organic section in the market (although Kansas City had three frozen entrees from Kashi, all of which I purchased) and there is no recycing anywhere, let alone in public places. We’re eating popcorn and hormone-antibiotic-pesticide yogurt for breakfast because the word vegetarian makes people projectile vomit out here…understandable, but it doesn’t feel like home.
There is a reason I couldn’t find parks. Because everything is a park. Our hotel, the only thing for miles and miles, is lakeside, and we awoke to a window full of vast expanses of thick-trunked trees, distant views of barns and silos, the sound of canadian geese, and a steady breeze lapping the muddy water across the front of slowly trolling boats. But radio stations play country and Jesus only. In KC we found alternative rock, classical, NPR, rap, elevator music, classic rock, and 80s nostalgia stations. Iowa border switched to just steel guitar and the Lord.
For those who have lost their corn, Iowa and Nebraska may be the way to go. I could handle the winters, I think, since I’ve spent time in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Boston. But unless I’m in Chicago, I don’t see the Midwest in my future any time soon. I don’t need skyscrapers. I need cafes full of writers, indie music, and stellar theater.
Good luck deciding. Peanut LOVES it here. He’d move with ya.