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5 Things Ex-Iowans Miss Most About Iowa

A bunch of anonymous Iowans who now live elsewhere got to talking about Iowa here. Their conversation went on for pages, but these are five things they missed most about their home state. They’re in no particular order, but they all kind of go together, don’t you think? What are they leaving out?

1.  Friendly people

·      “The people there are totally down to earth and friendly in the real sense — they mean it. They don't think they are better than you and generally like people.”

·      “I was born and raised in rural Iowa and proud to be from a place where people greet strangers on the street like an old friend.”

·      “If you live on the East Coast … you may not get this, but . . . the folks who live there [in Iowa], folks of all colors and shapes, were simply the friendliest folks around. Ever. …. Now I live in New Jersey, where the unofficial state motto is ‘f___ you and hooray for me!’ Not a day goes by when I don't think about cashing it all in and jumping on a train bound for Chicago, and then Mt. Pleasant afterwards.

2.  The wave

·      “When I [visit and] drive my dad's truck down our gravel road, I get a wave from every car I pass.”

·      “Iowans: Remember the one finger wave your dad did? Hands on the steering wheel, eyes on the gravel road, approaching another car, the finger raises up like the flag on Iwo Jima. The signal is returned in kind. Non-Iowans: No. Not that finger.”

·      “I remember driving through Iowa's back roads with a foreign exchange student, and I showed him the finger wave. He thought it was hilarious that I could make anyone wave to me. But I knew it was just Iowa.”

3.  A great childhood

·      “I would happily leave New York City for Cedar Rapids to raise kids. Iowa gets a bum rap from lots of folks and that's okay. They are more than welcome to stay right where they are.”

·      “I grew up in Iowa and cannot think of raising kids anywhere else. It was truly spectacular.”

·      “I can't fathom anyone having a better childhood anywhere else in the universe than the one I spent there [in Decorah] in the same valley my ancestors walked. No apologies.

4.  An egalitarian culture

·      “Your financial situation does not decide your quality of life [in Iowa]. I grew up thoroughly lower-middle class and never felt less for it my entire childhood. I haven’t seen this replicated anywhere else in this country.”

·      “Back home, the new immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico were just other kids in the class who had odd lunches. Perhaps people think of Iowa as a homogenous place because people come to understand each other faster than  other places. When my grandpa was young, there were a ton of new Bohemian immigrants and his parents had a big problem with their wild music and their crazy dancing. Now you got Scandanavian smorgasbord, Bohemian polkafests, and Cinco de Mayo all together.”

5.  A groundedness

·      “I have always loved its quaint style, grounded intelligence, and easy access to pettable hogs. Whenever this big city girl goes back for a visit, I love the sense of industrious peace that settles over the land. That is not something I would say for many of the other Midwestern states I've visited.”

·      “When people think of the America that used to be, of family farms and roadside diners with great pie, ice cream socials around a town square and all those other Norman Rockwell scenarios, rest assured you can still find those things in Iowa. With time, the influence of television and the internet, and the ongoing mallification of America, Iowa is becoming a lot more like the rest of the country. But sometimes I wish there was a way to make the rest of the country more like Iowa.”




I cannot imagine moving somewhere else ! I was born here. Raised here. Stil live reading all of your comments...I am staying ! A lot of people move back to raise their kids. Come on back !

From the east side of Des Moines woot woot lmao. I miss the food! Not so much the people lmao! I'm now living in Colorado and loving it.

Tasty Tacos, canoe on the Raccoon River, lighting bugs, Reeds ice cream, ice skating on the lagoon at Union Park....oh yea I miss Iowa

I grew up in Davenport Iowa and moved to VA in 1973. I have been back to visit several times and always wish I could move back. Growing up near the Mississippi, I miss the river lore, Camp Abe Lincoln, John Deere, Oscar Myer and Robin Hood Flour. Where else could a girl have a paper route at age 11 and safely be out at 5am riding down country roads delivering the Time Democrat paper. When it rained there were the biggest earth worms! Ice skating all winter long at local duck creek park and warming at skate houses with roaring fires. Fejevary Park with Mother Goose Land, the Mississippi Valley Fair, fireworks at the Annie Whitmeyer Home and the BEST public school education anywhere!!! Best teachers. I would love to go back to raise my kids in Iowa.

I miss the Muscatine County Fair, I miss the different colors of fall, roads, HyVee, friendly people, 4th of July fireworks in Cedar Rapids, big gardens.

Iowa born and bred. I will always be an Iowan no matter where I live ( Colorado, in an area settled by Iowans), I have the best of both worlds, beautiful scenery, reasonable weather and Iowa friendly people. Do miss fresh mower hay, corn as tall as an elephant's eye, tenderloins. Maid-Rites and Muscatine Melons and real sweet corn! Black dirt so rich you plant a 20 penny nail and it grows to a 60 penny spike!

My husband and I have lived in Kansas City since 1987 yet I will always consider Iowa my home. Most of my family live there so we go back to visit as often as we can. I always try to squeeze in a stop at Happy Joes for their Taco pizza as well as a stop at Taco Johns. One thing is for sure... You can't beat Iowa sweet corn and it seems like nobody but people from Iowa know what a Turkey and Dressing sandwich is! My husband and I love those.

I am a native Iowan. I was born here and grew up on the rual part of Marion. I lived here my whole life except for a year in Maryland. I have always loved Iowa and was so glad to come home. There is nothing like the friendly people, slower pace of live, black dirt, forests and fields, beautiful seasons, good education, safer towns and cities, maid rites, tenderloins, ice cream socials, fairs, and the feeling of home. I Love Iowa!

I grew up in Iowa and loved it.I just returned to see every inch of land covered by crops, pollution from poor farming methods, and almost no wildlife present. Most of the small farm ponds are silted in or too polluted to hold the panfish I grew up catching, and the state DNR has had it's budget cut to the bone. It is sad what greed has done to a state that used to be a top pheasant hunting destination. I am sure most of the people are still wonderful individuals, but I will never return if they keep torturing the land and polluting the rivers like they are doing now.

I miss the local Dairy Queen that was only open in the Summers. I miss walking all around town with no worries of becoming a victim. I miss walking down to the crick (yes I said crick) and walking through the water. I miss Mulberry trees! My husband and I plan to retire back to Iowa.

Honest politicians---try IL. (UGH!) Much better utilities! Better Public Schools.

I grew up in an Iowa small town and spent 90% of my adulthood there. I moved to a big western state city and could not believe how dishonest people here are. Not so in Iowa, where people keep their word. As many people have posted, people are so much more friendly in Iowa.

I'm not a former Iowan. I've never lived anywhere else but here in the good old Hawkeye state. I drove a city bus in Iowa City for almost 42 years before retiring last April. During that working period of time, I've met a great many people including former Iowans like those here in this column. There always will be those who have had a bad experience while living here and are glad to be elsewhere. But I've heard many from the other side that say the same things found here. They said don't bother looking for greener grass elsewhere. Iowa is it. I met a lady who was from the State of New York although originally from Indiana. After living here in Iowa for a while after getting married to an Iowan, she grew to be an Iowa gal at heart. She said the beauty of Iowa is subtle. You learn to appreciate it after what it has done to you on the inside.

I grew up in Bloomfield Iowa. I joined the military at age 20 and went all over. I was in complete culture shock of how rude people are elsewhere. My ex-huband always called Iowa 'candyland' because nothing bad every happened there and it's not the real world. Well, maybe it should be. Maybe everywhere else should be more like small town in Southeast Iowa! I'm happily back in Iowa and I'll stay here till I die.

We have lived away from Iowa since 1981. We have lived in Colorado, Arizona, then back to Colorado, because that's where our sons live. If we were younger and in better health, we would move back to Iowa. Maidrites, tenderloin sandwiches, real corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes, the smell of fresh cut grass, most of all the dear family and friends. There is no place like home, Iowa has always been our HOME, but home is where our heart is, and for now that's Colorado.

I have lived all over the United States, from California to Maine. I have chosen Iowa as my home because there isn't another place in the nation that compares. Go Hawkeyes!

I grew up in Iowa. I've lived in Oklahoma for three years now and my husband and I really miss the great outdoors. We had all sorts of rivers amd forests right in our backyard, now we have to drive hours to fish or kayak. I miss Iowa because eveveryone is so polite and they treat others like real human beings. Iowans would give you the shirt off your back.. My co-workers make fun of me because I boast about Iowa all the time. I'm always telling them how wonderful it is. I'll never stop being proud of where I came from. I couldn't have asked for a better childhood (even being poor). I love Iowa and hope to raise my children there some day.

I grew up in the Lowell/New London/Salem/Mt Pleasant area and miss Iowa so very much. We moved to Florida in the late 60's, but I'll always be an Iowa girl at heart. I miss the friends I made in grade school and middle school ~~ some of whom will be forever friends even though we don't see each other ~~ growing up together in rural Iowa you form friendships that are just hard to find in this day and time, and I will treasure them always. I miss tenderloins from Butch's River Rock Cafe, shopping at the HyVee, the thrill of hunting for morel mushrooms, and the slower, peaceful pace of life of living in the country. I miss riding my bike on the gravel roads, sliding down the snow-covered hill across from our home on a sled, and walking through the woods by the stream that ran through them. I miss my grandparents, all of whom are gone now, and being so far away that I can't visit their gravesites. I miss my aunt and uncle and my cousins, who all still live there, and being able to be close like we were when we were little. Iowa was a wonderful place to grow up ~~ I wish my children and grandchildren could experience what I was able to in my childhood. Someday, I hope to come home.

I moved from Mt. Pleasant Iowa in 1978, but come back to visit family & friends. Had my kids spend a few summers there, & now my daughter wants to bring her kids back for Old Threshers this Labor Day. I miss Iowa's black dirt,including the smell of it. I miss Pork Tenderloin sandwiches, I don't know anywhere else but Iowa where you can get those — I know you can't in the South. I miss Sterzings Potato Chips, Old Threshers, & straight roads, with one name on them. In Georgia one road can have as many as 4-6 different names, there can also be 1/2 to a 1 mile break in the road & they still call it the same road. And they don't know what a straight road is to save their souls. If Iowa didn't have the winters it does, I would talk my husband into retiring there!! The Midwest & especially IOWA are the BEST!!!

I lived in Sewer City long enough and I don't miss anything

I grew up in Webster City, and I had the greatest childhood imaginable. I rode my bike anywhere and everywhere, I spent entire summers building forts and hideaways along the Boone River, and it seems like we never stayed inside unless it was raining (and sometimes not even then). I'm sure I experienced the same disappointments and conflict that kids do anywhere, but when I look back, all I see is the magic.

Everything about Iowa is special. I grew up there until I was 9. Very much missed it. Kids were different in St. Louis. Much snobbier. Then I went to Grinnell college and I loved it. The blue skies, the black dirt. And yes, the people are friendlier. But other places have their strengths, too (like Cardinals baseball!).

I'm from Iowa and none of this is true. Glad I left that effin state!

I've lived away from Iowa for 10 years. I spent a couple years in New York, about 7 years in New Orleans, and now we live in St. Paul, MN. I agree with the "Iowa is a great place to be from..." comment. Being born and raised in Runnells, IA instilled in me a work ethic second to none, a common decency for all people known or not, an ability to appreciate life for what it is, and the ability to see value in all things. Now I've experience a lot more in my life personally and professionally since I left, but Iowa will always be where I'm from, it will always be my home.

There was nothing better then growing up on a farm and living in Graettinger, Iowa! Wonderful people and long lasting friendships!

As a military family, we traveled a lot and made wonderful friends who became family along the way. We have retired in Ames and while everyone is friendly, they have enough friends! Iowa would be perfect if the winters were like Virginia's! Go Cyclones! E

I miss the "Cattle Congress". Been in 23 Countries in my life and all over this one. Have seen nothing like it anywhere but Waterloo, Iowa!

Originally from Charles City now living in Washington, D.C. area (in the military). I agree with many of the sentiments of those who already have shared their East Coast experience. No one is kind or friendly out here. I'm beyond ready to leave this D.C. life behind and return to Iowa. I didn't appreciate how good Iowa was until I left it.

I am from London England moved to Mason City Iowa in 2006 and lived there for 3 years whilst at college and playing soccer. I then moved to florida and now I live in Dubai and still Iowa is the friendliest place I have ever been and I miss it a lot (Besides the brutal part of winter of course). I would love to return one day.

Grew up in western Iowa..don't miss a thing. Growing up small town is either a great or a terrible experience, just depends on your family influence in the town. Food is definitely better elsewhere!

i miss maid rites, tenderloins and Farm and Fleet but mostly the compassion and empathy that people in Iowa have, and I feel I do as well, from my birthplace. When everyone isn't......or aren't......people are genuinely LESS judgemental. Really, it is so much MORE than just a state, it's a state of being: REAL.

i miss the work ethic. People as a whole in Iowa work hard. They take pride in a job well done and believe hard work is important to teach your children.

I have lived in West Texas for nearly 20 years...The People are good ...the climate is Great....but it is not Iowa...My students get tired of me telling "Iowa" stories...but I won't.....because it is my "Home"...and forever will be...

I have a saying I use a lot, 'Iowa is a great place to be from.' Being honest, not sure I could live there now, but I'm very proud to be from there, for all the reasons listed above and more. I now live in England. What I miss about Iowa is the harvest season and lots of huge fresh fruit and veg.

Safety of small towns. Remember, "It takes a village to raise a child." Maybe not really, but when all know a kid he'll think twice about doing something wrong. Generally they've been taught right from wrong at home but you never can have too much help. God bless us Iowans.

I miss sit-down Pizza Huts since I used to be their waitress in Ankeny and Ames in the 80s. I do miss the smell of the earth and that one day it stayed light until 10PM. Don't get that in Colorado. Denver does have some aggressive drivers but the people here are half Midwesterners and it's not a bad place to be outside of Iowa. Winters are better LOL

I miss county courthouses and courthouse squares, state parks, church auctions, homemade rolls, the Des Moines Farmers' Market, Paglia's Pizza, Van Dees ice cream, street dances, the ability for a kid to make thousands of dollars detassling corn, potlucks, real girls' basketball, mushroom hunting, sledding down huge country hills on Sunday afternoons, "Crazy Daze" sales, AE Old Fashioned cottage cheese, Porky's tenderloins.

I do miss all those things.....a lot!!!! I was raised in DeWitt, Iowa, and moved when my husband was laid off at Cat. No jobs no where. Moved all the way to NC. I miss good hamburger, happy Joes Pizza, yellow corn. I miss being able to walk and ride bikes, sidewalks here are far and in between, and bike rides are dangerous! North Carolina may be the Bible Belt, but it is not friendly.

I'm an Iowan and have lived in Minneapolis, they think we're all country hicks here and think they're better than we are. If I were to move away I would miss Iowa's autumns — the best time of year here. And fresh sweet corn in the summer! I would not miss the winters!

I miss the 4 seasons. Florida just has 2 seasons - 6 months of "wearing a wet wool blanket" heat & 6 months of "tolerable". Also miss the friendly people (Southern hospitality is a myth). Can't wait for my next trip "home" to smell the black dirt, walk on the soft grass, and enjoy a tenderloin sandwich!

I miss: Pagliai's Pizza Happy Joes Taco Pizza Heyn's Ice Cream Black, black dirt that smells like the earth. Watching all the crazy people after an Iowa Football Game! LOL

I grew up in Iowa but left in 1986 to attend college in Minnesota where I have lived for the last 29 years. No where, especially in Minnesota, are people as friendly and welcoming as in Iowa. It was a wonderful place to be a kid.

I forgot about county fairs and 4-h and big livestock shows. I miss those too. Mostly, I miss Iowa summers!

I miss the Iowa State Fair, the farmhouses and the barns and prairies (there are entirely too many trees in Georgia!), the summer evenings, the gravel roads, muscatine melons and sweet corn, sledding in the snowy winter and the diversity.

I moved to Gastonia, NC in 95. Then to FT Worth, TX for 14 years. Moved back to Iowa Great Lakes for 4 years. We moved away from Iowa 3 years ago. I miss Lake Okoboji and Rock the Roof on Thursday night but we are living in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. Back to Iowa soon for weddings and class reunion.

Growing up in the corner of three states; Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota was an experience that everyone should have done. Tastees...better than MaidRites, tenderloin sandwiches, pork cutlets, the inter mingling of different nationalities, and the smells of Iowa. Grass growing, sweet corn that rivals Jersey corn. The love of family and church. The "small town" feeling of even a "large" city in Iowa. "these are a few of my favorite things" in Iowa. I miss it and try to get back as much as I can. Friends for life.

AE dip, the Des Moines Art Center, fertilizer commercials, the smell of sweet clover, ancient barns and farmhouses, my grandparents (long gone) and solid schools.

Iowa High School girls basketball tournaments, Iowa State Fair, Red Rock Lake, Bussey Clinic, and the biggest.....a republican governor that knows how to run a state!!!!

Most of my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents lived the same farm life we did. We all lived in a two county area and gathered for holidays, celebrated birthdays together and gathered food out of the garden and orchard to feed everyone.

I'm a native, never lived anywhere else, but visited plenty. Here's a joke I heard many years ago that encapsulates the seemingly antithetical traits of unsentimental utilitarianism and compassion that I find compelling about Iowans...........Guy from New Jersey is driving through Iowa on I-80 West. Pulls off on a side road to "rest" and on his way back to the car spots a pig in a hog lot wearing a carefully crafted, beautifully carved wooden leg. Takes himself to the door of the adjacent farmhouse, introduces himself and after pie and coffee, asks, "Couldn't help but but notice the pig with the wooden leg. .......Ummmm - why does your pig wear that? Farmer pauses and says, "Well, dude, five months ago it was 15 below here and the furnace hardly ever shut off. The furnace fan belt overheated late one night - caught on fire. Wife an' I were upstairs in the bedroom sleepin' the way we do, an the fire spread up to the first floor and then to the stairs. That pig went to barn phone, built a ramp to the keypad and used his snout to dial 911. Then he used Morse code grunts to convey "fire!", and the address. New Jersey guy says, "Astonishing! Genuinely atonsishing! ........But what about the leg? Farmer says, "Well, you get a pig that smart, you don't wanna eat him all at once."

I miss my friends and family, morel mushrooms, WHO radio (Van and Bonnie and Jan Michelson), all the trees and shades of green and the rich black dirt. The smell in the air after a storm, lightening and thunder that shakes the ground, fresh cut hay, canoeing down the Iowa River, Dunning Springs in Decorah, the birds singing every morning, sweet corn, Franklin County Fair, and good people.

I miss the soft grass, Maid Rites, Cheri Top, the smell of Heinz making ketchup, and the Farm Stands. I do miss my hometown of Muscatine.

Now that my husband and I have returned to Iowa, I only miss people I have met along the way to my journey back to Waverly, wishing I could bring them all back to experience the greatness of this wonderful state. As the song goes..."down home, they treat you like family" and in Iowa everyone gets treated like family in my book. Not to all, but in my book yep. It's all about the homecoming and family!!

I miss my family members who have passed away. I live in Texas now, I'd go back to Iowa if jobs paid better. Reconnect with friends/family/cousins on a more daily basis. I miss Grandma and Aunt Lottie, Jack & Marie, The Sears, Glenn and Mary, Leonard and Florence Halverson, The Kacena's, Cooks, Crawfords, and so many more.

For those who are in Arizona and longing for a Maid Rite or a Tenderloin sandwich, the Iowa Cafe in Mesa serves both. : D

This article made me tear up a bit. I grew up in rural NW Iowa and I'm now on the central coast of CA and all of these hit home. I miss a lot of things, but it's the people and the attitude that I find myself missing the most.

fresh cut hay. Running through backyards on summer nights when you literally got "clotheslined"

The trees. You can spot a town because of the cluster of beautiful trees with a grain elevator and a water tower peaking over the tops of them. The trees loom over every house and arch the streets. They aren't 'landscaping' trees. Maybe lends to a feeling of needing a bit of pruning, but I will take it over scrawny trees or pine trees any day.

I agree with all the comments and the top 5. The 4 seasons (even when they are mixed up as this year) make me love Iowa.

I have lived in Arizona for over 30 years, but Iowa will always be home to me. Get back as often as I can.

I was raised in Des Moines. I don't miss anything at all.I still have 3 really good friends who live there, but beyond those 3 and the non-Iowan friends from Grinnell College, I have zero nostalgia for the place. I found the people of Iowa to be among the most bigoted, judgmental, and closed minded I have ever encountered outside of the former Confederacy. The great majority of Iowans I knew found it impossible to accept anything that wasn't metaphorically white bread and mayonnaise bland. And the weather is terrible there. Bitter cold in the winter and simply unlivable in the summers.

I miss almost everything everyone has listed here, but I especially miss the slow, relaxed pace! Definitely not something you find in CA!

Hard Work Ethic... Growing up as an Iowa farm girl, and with almost all of my extended family Farmers, I learned the value of hard work, every single day, and do not recall anyone ever complaining. This is what you did! Tilling the soil, planting the seeds, keep storms at bay, pulling weeds out of cornfields, and reaping the harvest. To this day, I have not had a carrot taste the same way as pulling it out of the ground from our gardens. What an exceptional way to honor our farm animals and honor Mother Nature. Organic at its best!!!!

If I no longer lived in Iowa, I would miss AE chip dip and cottage cheese.

20 minute commute. No matter where you are driving or what time of day it never takes more than 20 minutes.

I miss nothing because I am here and I am greatful.

I miss Runza huts, maidrite cafés, the ledges, clean lakes all very close

The sweetest corn on the cob anywhere and standing outside on a quiet summer's day and hearing the corn and beans grow. Awesome place. Once you've lived there the memories remain forever.

Don't forget AE dairy products. AE is the best in the WORLD, bar none!

Actual sweet corn not field corn posing as it's tasty cousin. Soft, thin bladed grass. Turkey and dressing sandwiches. Euchre parties. Definately all 5 things listed above.

I miss the smell of country air and being able to open the windows at night with the only worry being a bat flying in. I miss a 90 degree day and a 50 degree night and winter and fall. I miss being able to leave everything unlocked. Florida has one only need one pair of shoes...flip-flops.

Davenport was a great place to be a kid in the 50's and 60's!! We never had to worry about being outside without parental supervision and we could go pretty much where we wanted to without the fear of being picked off the street. And back then, the people were friendly and would go out of their way to help you if you needed it.

Morel mushrooms, Iowa State Fair, morel mushrooms...kinda in that order.

I miss everything about iowa and have wanted to go to Bebops again. One day I will.

I miss the country roads and bonfires. I am an Iowa girl who lives in New York and people are way different.

i have lived in Sacramento, CA, for almost 30 years. When my husband passed away in 2010, he was buried in his home town in Iowa. Old friends and neighbors came out of the woodwork with food, phone calls, contributions, and help all because they knew me or my husband when we grew up or were friends with our siblings or parents. THAT is small town Iowa...I was so touched.

I must say I was born and raised in a rural IDAHO town in the Panhandle. Many of the comments would apply to my raising and raising my child there as well. Wonderful small town life to be a part of. :)

Growing up in Iowa was totally awesome. So much freedom and safety. If parents really loved their kids they would move to Iowa to raise them. It's safe, great schools and super nice people. You got out of it what you put into it. I miss Iowans!

States such as Indiana have too many silly laws, you have to show an I.D. to vote, pick up a prescription, etc. Getting a drivers license is a major hassle in Indiana, you have to have a birth certificate and three pieces of mail (not junk mail) to prove your address.Indiana decided to adopt "go it alone" testing for school students rather than the national tests. The tests were originally 12 hours, after many complaints they were reduced to 9 hours. It is still such an emotional problem for some children it puts them in tears. Iowa does a much better job of snow removal and winter weather management.

The rolling countryside, the beautiful woods, the acres and acres of farmland with the corn growing so fast you could almost see it. The towns that all felt safe in and were safe. The opportunities for a teenager to have a well paying summer job if they wanted one. In the smaller town Friday or Saturday night when the area farmers come into do their shopping and the local fairs. All good memories that are treasured.

We miss breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches! We've lived coast to coast and haven't found them anywhere! First thing we eat when we get to Iowa.

Thank you all for reminding me to stop and smell the roses. I love Iowa, never lived anywhere else and don't want to. I live every one of your memories everyday, and I am thankful.

Sweet corn

Now I want a Maid-Rite loose meat sandwich

My family century farm has been pock-marked with turbines in an incentive way so what I miss is the nostalgia of what was, the early evidence of change. A RAGBRAI alum, I miss that event as all things listed in the article, a person experiences on that Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa the last week in July.

People are so friendly. They take casseroles for everything. For sick neighbors, funerals, just to visit. Everyone knows their neighbors and who lives in their neighborhood. Great way to raise a family.

I miss AE dairy! The Tavern (one of my old employers) and Hy Vee!

I agree with all listed above as what an Iowan may most miss about Iowa. As a young foreign graduate student I went to stay in Iowa city Iowa in 1973. Indeed it was one of the most welcoming cities it could have been found at the time. With helpful locals trying to understand and learn from other cultures I enjoyed what was offered to me in terms of warmth and friendship in return for my devoted admirations to them forever. Even cold winters I loved. But hated the humidity in summers. Honestly I still miss the picturesque falls with shades of golden brown leaves falling. I remember our walks along the Iowa river under feezing degrees but with high skies over. Iowa city was indeed a place to grow as it says on its licence plates. So we returned home with 2 Iowan girls, who are proud be be Iowan and who enjoyed their early childhoods in Iowa city. From those days, aside from the members of the U of I who never deprived us of their hospitality, I still remember some members of the near by farming communities fondly. The Stuttsman(John) family, the Mcnut(Mary) family gave us a sense of belonging. The Bourjaily farm which belonged to Tina and her former husband late(author) Vance Bourjaily was an oasis of culture in a farm land. We met many people those days through Vance and Tina in the writer's workshop, among whom suprisingly we found people who were interested in learning Turkish. With the deep appreaciation and joy of finding people those day who wish to learn my mother tongue I did some language teaching too. In those penny-pinching days, I made some good money to pay the baby-sitter bills too.I do miss lake Macbride eventhough it can never compete with the Mediterranean Sea or the sea of Marmara where Istanbul is located around. The Lake had its own charm and beauty. I miss the Amana colonies, where we frequently went and enjoyed the ethnic German food. But most importantly I miss those genuine Iowans, who always had difficulty of pronouncing my last name nevertheless they always gave me their love, affection and support when was was thousands of miles away from home . My deepest respects to the memory of those who we lost over the last 42 years and my true and undivided love to those who are still there like the Lowenberg family(Ina and Gerry), the Madsens, the Abadi family,and if still in Iowa the Kapachinkas family. may God bless you all.

Living in So Cal since I was in the USMC for the past 8 years I love going home!! Nothing like Iowa!!

I miss the very nice people, nice drivers, and fabulous schools and soccer clubs! I do not miss six months of bad weather...;( conflicted!

Best educational system anywhere and that gorgeous black dirt. You could grow anything in that dirt.

The smell of hay...

I miss Anderson Erickson, BeBops, Casey's Pizza, Fairway meat, sweet corn, the friendly people, the ability to keep your home unlocked with the keys in the car in the driveway, the peacefulness of a warm summer day in the country, and growing up in a small town.

Growing up in a neighborhood where families were families. You knew everyone's brothers and sisters because you had brothers and sisters the same age or pretty dang close.

don't for get the Maidrite sandwiches, tenderloin sandwiches, and most of all the small of fresh cut clover, and last but not least the smell after a summer rain. I just made myself homesick for independence Ia . Time to go home I think.

The feeling of inclusion that I believe everyone experienced in my home town is something I will always cherish. There were 32 people in my highschool class. So in order to field a team, or to have a choir or a band, everyone participated. Each person's effort and contribution was appreciated.

Black dirt, black as black can be, that smells amazing, like no other dirt anywhere.

I miss Tasty Taco, Mister Donut, Bebops, and The Tavern.

I miss fall, my favorite time of the year. In Southern California, we have the four seasons but fall isn't as prominent and I've always missed that part of the year all these years I have been away!

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