Growing up on my family farm in rural Madison County I knew from a very early age that hard work was an integral part to living in Iowa especially when it came to farm life.
As the oldest of four boys I was always the first to be out feeding cattle, fixing fence, baling hay and a multitude of other duties that were required everyday to ensure that the farm continued to prosper and we always knew we each played a part in its success. Most days were exhausting to say the least often being up before the sun came up to long after the sun went down there was always work to be done.
As I grew a bit older, like many of my friends who lived on farms, we looked forward to the day when we could go out on our own and see what the world had to offer outside our farms and more particularly outside Iowa.
I was fortunate to be able to attend Dowling High school in Des Moines. Although I did not want to leave my friends in our rural community my dad insisted that an education in Des Moines was something I would be doing. The opportunity helped me to grow, make new friends and see that leaving Iowa would be in my future. My desire to “see the world” was strong and at that time did not see any reason to stay.
I left the farm and Des Moines as soon as I could after my high school graduation living in cities like Omaha, Minneapolis and Kansas City. Each of those cities were great adventures and taught me a lot about myself and more importantly perhaps where I had come from.
While living in Kansas City I met my wife and once married we talked about if we wanted to stay in Kansas City as it seemed at the time as though our careers were not as fulfilling as we had hoped. We needed new opportunities as we started our lives together.
One weekend we traveled back to Des Moines to see my family and unexpectedly found that Des Moines was growing in new and interesting ways. You could tell that changes were taking place. Des Moines was beginning to be an exciting place. A place where things were starting to happen. A place that opportunities were starting to emerge.
After our weekend trip to Des Moines we decided that moving was something we truly wanted to do. Moving back to Iowa was something I swore I would never do but I felt drawn back to the place I left so many years before. We purchased a house and started our family and today we find that we cannot imagine living anywhere else but Des Moines. We have been successful in finding careers we enjoy, a great school where our children continue to thrive and a neighborhood where we feel the warmth of neighbors and friends.
As we have continued to watch Des Moines grow we feel that not only did we make the right choice to move here and raise our family here but it is a place where our children will have great opportunities, start careers and build there lives here in Des Moines.