We’ve spent the last couple weeks driving around Iowa and looking at houses. We’ve gotten a lot of questions about why we’re looking to live in Iowa, either from people to whom the state is so insignificant they can’t find it on a map, or people who live right next to it and grew up making fun of it. On our last house hunting trip in the state, we stopped by the Iowa State Fair, and saw a man with a t-shirt that read “Iowa: wave next time you fly over.”
So why Iowa?
Part of it is climate. If we want to grow our own food, we’d like to have a long growing season and plenty of rain. This eliminates places too far north and a fair amount of the west. K does not want to live in the vicinity of big bugs. This eliminates anything too far south to have a solid freeze in the winter.
Part of it is economics. If we want to own our own place, we need to live where land is cheap, as we are not independently wealthy. This eliminates most of the west coast and most of the east coast. It is also much easier to purchase land in the country where you have citizenship. This eliminates living internationally (for the moment).
Part of it is cultural. We grew up in Illinois, and have a soft spot for landscapes full of corn that a lot of people can’t understand, and we can’t explain. This land has been farmed for as long as white people have lived here. And we’ve heard stories about the tall grass prairie that was here before the corn fields, stretching out as far as the eye can see and rippling like waves in the wind, like the ocean, tall enough to match a man on horseback.
Part of it is political. Iowa is one of only 5 states that has legal marriage for same sex couples like ourselves, and the only one of those five not in New England. I’m excited to live in a place where we are not treated as second class citizens, at least by the state government if not by the federal.
Stay tuned for The Plan Part Three: What About Jobs