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Old 01-18-2010, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Waukee, IA
9 posts, read 25,498 times
Reputation: 17

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I have been living in the greater Des Moines area since June 2006. We have made great friends and we have enjoyed our time here, but my fiancée and I have been feeling the urge to depart for greener pastures. People who complain that Iowans are cold, rude, and standoffish confuse me. We haven’t shared that experience at all, and as a disclaimer, we are not natives of the state. I think negative opinions stem from unusually high expectations of the area.
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Heartland of Murica
3,433 posts, read 5,726,947 times
Reputation: 3418
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestwardNate View Post
I have been living in the greater Des Moines area since June 2006. We have made great friends and we have enjoyed our time here, but my fiancée and I have been feeling the urge to depart for greener pastures. People who complain that Iowans are cold, rude, and standoffish confuse me. We haven’t shared that experience at all, and as a disclaimer, we are not natives of the state. I think negative opinions stem from unusually high expectations of the area.
I agree 100%. I have been for a while now and I think the people in Des Moines are for the most part, very friendly, meaning genuinely friendly. The customer service experiences I have had here have been GREAT, I have not come across many grouchy, unhappy people here and I feel like I totally belong here. I like the fact that life is a lot simpler here than it was in Minneapolis and I don't feel as stressed as I used to. I can get to work in 15-20 minutes and have to yet experience bumper to bumper traffic, this is one of the most "civilized" metro areas I have ever lived in.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:27 PM
 
11 posts, read 36,985 times
Reputation: 22
The statement that small town people are "inbred" is a disgusting generalization. I am from a small town in Iowa, but moved away as an adult. Relying on the term "inbreeding" when the situation is likely a matter of socialization and attitude, is a small-minded crutch. The way of life in a small town would probably not be a big draw to me. Not so sure about the rest of the world. It likely has nothing to do with "inbreeding".

As someone who has made it my goal to move home to Iowa, my last few trips have given me many reasons to pause. On each trip I have come in continual contact with people who had a prevailing negative outlook. More people with it than without it. Pessimism is healthy, don't get me wrong. But it's an aggressiveness (especially while doing everyday things) that I never felt the last time I lived there about 11 years ago. Not a lot of smiles going around. I used to notice that when I came back. Now I just smile at everybody hoping they won't yell at me or my kids for walking in front of their grocery cart of sitting in the "wrong place" at the airport.

I don't feel the sense of safety I have felt in a similar-sized city in Ohio when I've visited Des Moines. I'm sure the smaller areas or certain neighborhoods would feel safer and one might not mind walking at night without concern. Perhaps the recession is getting to people or I've been living in Happyville, USA. Not sure, but I want to return to Iowa less and less. It's unsettling. I've always told everyone I know that I'm from Iowa and it's great there. The last couple of years of returns have made me feel less like bragging about Iowa.

I'm sure Iowa, like any other state, is what you make of it. I suppose if you have family ( I do) or friends (got 'em) in Iowa then it will be OK. I'm less certain of this statement than I used to be. It's the day to day stuff and the type of clients I will have to work with in my business that have me very concerned.

Anyway, I'm not sure what Iowa is now. I know what it used to be and I'm grateful for the good education, the great husband and the foundation I have. I hoped to give that to my kids.. just not sure if it's still there. Oh.. and someone posted about the schools. A little girl just moved from Iowa City to Ohio and is in my son's first grade class. She is way ahead of everyone in the class....a great reader, too!
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:36 PM
 
11 posts, read 36,985 times
Reputation: 22
Default Come on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
Kathy...................Are you sure you moved to Iowa............are you sure you moved from MI............If you don't what year you moved, I find it difficult to take you seriously........................

This is just what I'm writing about in my post. Is it really necessary to be so mean to someone regarding a keyboarding error? Aggressive, rude... totally unnecessary. If you MUST point it out, how about something nicer? I guess people have to be ready to fight back at all times. Negative, low-toned, terrible communication skills.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,309 posts, read 3,567,118 times
Reputation: 4989
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter1 View Post
This is just what I'm writing about in my post. Is it really necessary to be so mean to someone regarding a keyboarding error? Aggressive, rude... totally unnecessary. If you MUST point it out, how about something nicer? I guess people have to be ready to fight back at all times. Negative, low-toned, terrible communication skills.
We all have different levels of pride, as related to how we speak, and the accuracy of what we type etc. If more people would 'proof-read' what they want to convey via the 'written word' before they hit the 'send botton', we all would be better off. And yes......I proof read everything I write (type) before sending it "on-it's-way".

And something for you to think about................... This "negative vibe" you say you sense when you return to Iowa......................perhaps it's because you are looking for the "negative" aspects of your contacts with others. Just for kicks, try looking at the "positive" side of what occurs during these return trips to Iowa................... don't forget: "The glass is always 'Half-Full'......not 'Half Empty'.

Oh, by the way..............I worked my way through college....some 60 years ago... and graduated with 2 degrees.......................where?........in Iowa!!!
Have a nice day!!!!
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:04 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,848,988 times
Reputation: 1444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter1 View Post
The statement that small town people are "inbred" is a disgusting generalization. I am from a small town in Iowa, but moved away as an adult. Relying on the term "inbreeding" when the situation is likely a matter of socialization and attitude, is a small-minded crutch. The way of life in a small town would probably not be a big draw to me. Not so sure about the rest of the world. It likely has nothing to do with "inbreeding".

As someone who has made it my goal to move home to Iowa, my last few trips have given me many reasons to pause. On each trip I have come in continual contact with people who had a prevailing negative outlook. More people with it than without it. Pessimism is healthy, don't get me wrong. But it's an aggressiveness (especially while doing everyday things) that I never felt the last time I lived there about 11 years ago. Not a lot of smiles going around. I used to notice that when I came back. Now I just smile at everybody hoping they won't yell at me or my kids for walking in front of their grocery cart of sitting in the "wrong place" at the airport.

I don't feel the sense of safety I have felt in a similar-sized city in Ohio when I've visited Des Moines. I'm sure the smaller areas or certain neighborhoods would feel safer and one might not mind walking at night without concern. Perhaps the recession is getting to people or I've been living in Happyville, USA. Not sure, but I want to return to Iowa less and less. It's unsettling. I've always told everyone I know that I'm from Iowa and it's great there. The last couple of years of returns have made me feel less like bragging about Iowa.

I'm sure Iowa, like any other state, is what you make of it. I suppose if you have family ( I do) or friends (got 'em) in Iowa then it will be OK. I'm less certain of this statement than I used to be. It's the day to day stuff and the type of clients I will have to work with in my business that have me very concerned.

Anyway, I'm not sure what Iowa is now. I know what it used to be and I'm grateful for the good education, the great husband and the foundation I have. I hoped to give that to my kids.. just not sure if it's still there. Oh.. and someone posted about the schools. A little girl just moved from Iowa City to Ohio and is in my son's first grade class. She is way ahead of everyone in the class....a great reader, too!
IMO, your entire post seems like a journal entry to yourself to try and convince yourself you'd be happier staying in Ohio.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:12 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,538 times
Reputation: 10
I lived in Charles City (north Iowa) for about two years after living in GA for 17 and grew up in NJ. As with any state, there was good and bad. As far as schools were concerned, they were mediocre at best, which was mostly due to it being a small town. In the counties I lived in in GA, they were vastly superior to Charles City schools. That's not to say there weren't good schools----Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, etc had very good ones.

I made some very good friends while there and still come up each December to hunt deer with my buddies. On the other hand, you did get a feeling of being an "outsider" and that people were not totally accepting of you. I just chalk it up to the culture of the region (midwest) rather than the state itself. I also met just as many Rednecks in Iowa as I did in GA----they just talked a little funnier. Like an NHL hockey announcer!

The one thing I hated was the way businesses treated their workforce. They paid extremely low and mistreated people in ways that could only be described as infantile. Yelling and screaming at people, threats of termination, disregard for safety, clock-watching, etc were commonplace. In that regard, I was glad to get out, and could still not understand why there weren't more Unions. Management were definitely Big Fish in Little Ponds--they wouldn't last two minutes in Chicago or Atlanta.

I'm back in GA now and pretty happy, but I still miss Iowa somewhat for the reasons already stated. I still have to adjust to things I hate about GA----traffic, dumb road layouts, heat (yes, you do get used to it), clay soil, etc..
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:48 PM
 
252 posts, read 537,601 times
Reputation: 75
The thing to know about Iowa is that its not homogenous. Des Moines is much different than Council Bluffs is much different from Fort Dodge is much different than Albia is much differen than the Quad Cities, etc..

It really depends on what you are looking for and what your line of work is. I live in Central Iowa (DSM & Suburbs) and have for my whole life. I speak to people from Charles City from time to time and I tend to think there must be something in the water that makes them imbalanced. Fort Dodge tends to be regarded in the same way.

I've never had to smell a hog lot in my life, and I do venture away from the city quite a bit (i.e. down SE to the Ottumwa area) on hunting trips.

If you like hunting, bass fishing, camping, etc, this is a great place. If you like quiet, secure family life, this is a great place. Likewise if you like paying 300k for a 4000 square foot home. Property here is very cheap and plentiful. Des Moines has plenty of opportunity, although after spending a lot of time here you tend to see the same faces over and over again. We do have a limited, but existant night life.

In terms of traffic, the concept is laughable. The biggest traffic problem is not congestion, but rather snow and ice. The same commute could take me 15 minutes in the summer but 1.5 hours on the worst snowfalls of winter (during the storm before plowing). The weather is brutally cold (I call it Iowa level cold) in the winter and brutally hot in the summer (its not the temp, its the heat index and humidity). I don't think mosquitos are unbearable, but they aren't scarce by any means. However, although we do have two bad seasons, we have two great ones as well. Fall and Spring can't be beat. Some of the festivals and street fairs we have here in Spring and Fall are truly unique (i.e. Tulip Time in Pella).

Regarding the posts for outsiders, I can't speak as an outsider, but here in DSM I find that in the business world we have absolutely no problem welcoming outsiders as our own. Likewise in the suburbs. I believe that Iowans are the nicet & most tollerant people in the nation generally speaking, but we have our share of jerks & jack @sses too. I don't think that we are backwards at all. If you want to see backwards, go check out the liberals in LA and San Fran or the rednecks in Mississippi (generally speaking). Have you ever heard of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills? Also you should consider that we have more of a wind-power presence than California. We have a strong presense of USDA and the insurance industry. Typically if a non-native Iowan feels outcast, its because they try too hard to maintain their identities as non-natives and reject Iowa values and lifestyles. If you allow yourself to be accepted, you will be. "We don't care how they do it in Texas."

I like it here. My only gripe is about the size of Des Moines (too small). Its pretty sad when you graduate Drake Law School and move to Des Moines to start work at a law firm making only 45k per year (not nearly enough to make your student loan payments). Of course there are low paying jobs everywhere, but what makes DSM different is the lack of high paying jobs. THat being said, if I chose not to go to Law School I'd be staying here (as it is, I'm leaving to go to Minnesota for law school) because I've had a very succesful careeer here in Des Moines otherwise.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:56 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,183 times
Reputation: 10
dang there goes my thoughts of moving to iowa. i been doing lots of research on des moines & sounds like it would be a loss cause to move out there so i guess i'll pick another state to do research on. as far as winter goes i hate michigan's long cold winters but love my snowmachine but we also have seadoos. sound like we'll never find that perfect state to call home. i guess i was thinking iowa because like michigan it has four seasons. we like to keep busy but by doing research it sounds boring there. my kids love indoor water parks & looks like there isn't much.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:36 PM
 
35,106 posts, read 43,439,749 times
Reputation: 62261
We lived in Muscatine and Riverside for two or three years give or take a few months and I love both but prefer Muscatine. It is a bigger city than Riverside and I only had to go across town to go grocery shopping instead of having to drive the 20 miles into Iowa City. We are currently looking to move back to Muscatine and I have no idea why I ever came back to Illinois.
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