U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Iowa
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-10-2007, 11:56 PM
 
43 posts, read 148,665 times
Reputation: 18

Advertisements

As we prepare for our move to the Pella/Osky area . . . How would you suggest our family best build relationships and make friends moving from the city to rural Iowa?

Some of what I've been reading in the posts about 'you'll never fit in unless you're born here' and 'if it isn't Dutch it ain't much' concerns me for our children (not to mention that I am now scared to ever mention that we are from Arizona or, gasp, that I was raised in California LOL).

We truly want to respect our neighbors and invest in our community (planning on staying forever). Both my hubby and I were raised with small town midwest values; we can not wait to move from this city life to the more rural settings of our youths, but after reading the posts I am concerned that just the stigma alone of being 'from the city' or the 'southwest' might be the only impression people will bother to take without getting to know us. We are so NOT city people, lol, we are actually considered 'hicks' here in how we raise our children more traditionally.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated - we have no desire to be the 'city folks comin' to Iowa' ;-) yet I know there will be that learning curve of sticking out like a sore thumb, too.

Perhaps someone could give me the skinny on terms or ways or topics to avoid or know about - you know, the local ways.

Thanks again for any help
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-11-2007, 12:54 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,782,309 times
Reputation: 1215
I hope you're tall, blonde and like wooden shoes.


Just kidding. Kind of.




I imagine that just like about anywhere if you're decent people will be decent to you. I don't know Pella all that well, but I imagine that with the school and a couple companies headquartered there, it's not as insular as you might imagine. They are very proud of their Dutch heritage though, but I think virtually everyone, Dutch or not, gets in on this during Tulip Time. I don't think anyone would have a problem if you came from anywhere else as long as you don't pull the "Well I'm from CA/AZ and...." thing that people from other places always seem to say... like being from a bigger city merits a sense of awe and amazement one would usually reserve for a Martian or something.

Pella is a really cool town and with a very strong sense of community. I don't know much about Oskaloosa, but I imagine they're not as community-centered as Pella is.

Either way, good luck. That's a really nice area there with decent people, Lake Red Rock and so on.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-11-2007, 06:27 AM
 
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
296 posts, read 1,194,437 times
Reputation: 184
Lovethem,

It sounds like you've got everything you need already! You're going to fit in great. Iowans LOVE people who move here for a more laid-back lifestyle, and who appreciate the unique joys of rural life. There will be some good-natured joshing about your obtaining honorary Dutch heritage, but remember that it's just part of the pride folks feel in their hometown. You sound like the kind of person who will dig in and soon know more about the town origins than many who live there, and, once you know the buzzwords, it's like anything else -- you're in! ;-)

Do: If Iowans seem more reserved than you would like, remember that it is really a form of politeness, of not intruding. Don't be afraid to make the first move, to be warm and willing to demonstrate what a good time you are having in moving here. It worked for me!

Do: Be cautious of the "In California, we had..." phrase, as El Rhino encourages. The problem isn't you, it's the thousands who have come before you and made it clear just how puny and insignificant Iowa is in light of the grand ways they've been used to.

Don't: Be afraid to mention things you've seen and done in places you lived before. As long as you're not obviously completely biased in favor of those things being more fabulous than anything else on the planet, you'll be fine. I mean, even I admit that the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park is a bit more of a Big Deal than Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. <grin>. The thing is that they are two totally different things and don't deserve to be compared, but both do deserve to be treasured and remembered, at least in my book!

Truth of the matter is, unless you have green antennae or a strong accent of some sort, many folks are going to assume you're FROM around here. About 15 years ago, I hired a couple from California to come work in a high tech company. They'd grown up in L.A. and wanted a safer and slower-paced lifestyle for their kids, a place with some land where they could play catch and have some pets. Although we all knew they came from California, they became just neighbors and friends within minutes, because they moved here with their eyes and hearts open.

If you have to worry, worry about the logistics of the move and your kids' natural anxiety about a new place, schools, and making new friends. Don't worry about how YOU'll fit in here, because you really don't have anything to worry about!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2007, 08:40 AM
 
11 posts, read 32,553 times
Reputation: 16
I've lived here all my life & all that stuff about not fitting in is bs. Don't worry about it you'll make lots of friends.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2007, 09:26 AM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,419,640 times
Reputation: 11190
I grew up in Iowa and lived there for 22 years, then moved to Chicago 7 years ago.

People on here talk a lot, but I seriously wouldn't worry about anything. Iowans are nice open people. A lot of the babbling about these angry untrusting Iowans who HATE all new people is not true.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-17-2007, 12:00 AM
 
43 posts, read 148,665 times
Reputation: 18
Thank you all for putting my mind at ease. I worried mostly for the children, the mama in me, you know. ;-)

I can't ever see me saying "In Arizona we . . . " bc there wasn't too much we really liked about that state's ways LOL and bottom line we're in a new state with new ways now.

We often joke about how much entertainment we will give ya' all as we freeze our fannies off, kill our first garden and who knows what else in our learning curve. Ha

Thanks again for the welcome - the do and don't list was also helpful ;-)
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-17-2007, 08:30 AM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,419,640 times
Reputation: 11190
Yeah, if you're just nice and relaxed and TRUELY want to meet people and explore life in Iowa, everything will be fine.

I think some of it is that Iowans are kinda use to being the butt of jokes and hearing what's so "wrong" about the state from everyone else in the country who hasn't even bothered to visit.

Oh, it's all full of farms, the people are backwards, the winter sucks, there's nothing to do, it's flat, there's bugs in the summer, everyone is white, there are no big cities, blah blah blah....

It's just offensieve when people from Florida, the east coast, Arizona or California, etc. go off like "Oh, god, that must have sucked growing up there! Didn't you hate it?", "aren't you so glad to be gone?" or just start going off how wonderful everywhere else is compared to Iowa - when in reality they know nothing about the state and have never visited. Just heard all the sterotypes. Obviously it's not THAT bad or 3 million people wouldn't choose to live there. The older I get, and the more I live in other parts of the country - the more I appreciate the fact I grew up in Iowa.

I still get a kick out of living in Chicago for 7 years and STILL having people ask "oh, did you grow up on a farm!" when I say I'm from Iowa. 95% of people in Iowa do NOT live on a farm....I only know 2 people from growing up in the state who actually lived on farms when they were little.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-17-2007, 11:21 PM
 
43 posts, read 148,665 times
Reputation: 18
Chicago,

You wrote: "It's just offensieve when people from Florida, the east coast, Arizona or California, etc. go off like "Oh, god, that must have sucked growing up there! Didn't you hate it?", "aren't you so glad to be gone?" or just start going off how wonderful everywhere else is compared to Iowa - when in reality they know nothing about the state and have never visited."

That is so true - you hit the nail on the head! And, it's short-sighted to say such things without getting to know a place and it's people before making such assumptions. Personally, we can't wait to leave the busyness, traffic and crime of city life for working together in a rural area.

To us, simplicity and hard work are good - the greatest traditions and inventions (just look at John Deere's work and his life) came from it ;-)

Thanks for your encouragement
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2007, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,782,309 times
Reputation: 1215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovethem View Post
To us, simplicity and hard work are good - the greatest traditions and inventions (just look at John Deere's work and his life) came from it ;-)

I see you've been studying.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-09-2008, 04:32 PM
 
4 posts, read 11,718 times
Reputation: 11
Try telling someone u lived in NY.... 10 million in NYC 7 million in the rest...where i lived was more rural than probably most of iowa... by the way im moving to Des Moines soon from OKC....a 1000 head dairy farm within a 1/4" mile from me... stinky especially in the summer...this was only 10 miles from a Rochester Pop about 600,000... its funny everyone thinks NY as NYC... i was raised in rural OK...sure i will fit in in IA...
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Iowa
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:08 PM.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top