It was during the summer months of 2009 when a walk in Phelps Park changed my life forever. I had been working in Decorah for little over a year, lived in Waukon, and wanted to find somewhere that felt like “home.” I had driven in the winter months to commute to work at least 5 days a week...frankly, it lost its romanticism. Having to find a place to stay last minute due to severe winter weather is just not fun! (Unless you take a trip to The Haymarket for a “anti-mope” drink…which may or may not work.)
In August of ’09 I found residency in Decorah, as well as a cat. In the weeks leading up to fully moving in I was commuting from Waukon to work. Afterwards stopping at the apartment to clean and unload my car of items I accumulated in my 20+ years of living. (And feed the stray who claimed me as a human.)
Long story short-I hate moving.
Longer story short-this is the longest I’ve lived in a place (not counting my childhood home).
Honestly, moving to Decorah was one of the best decisions ever made. A community of people I found myself immersed in from work (and outside work) and the slow beginning stages of claiming personal independence. Eventually morphing into a more sure-footed adult; learning to commute by bike, and live a full life.
Slowly and surely my social life has grown, however, it’s still mostly encompassed by work. Biking and my friends have helped open me up a lot. An infrequent trip to The Courtyard for an after work beer, or perhaps La Rana for a Pink Frog happen periodically. (Nothing says “I’m feeling classy!” like an after work drink with friends.) I even took an Art Haus class last fall/winter, my very first art class since High School! It still amuses me when people who know me from work see me out-I'm humbled by the positive responses (always!)
I’ve come out into my own skin in this town. It woke me up to simple joys and pleasures that one can find when they can intermesh into a community. I’ve always been more of a lone wolf, seeking out a pack to join. Decorah has done that for me, so a resounding and most sincere “Thank You” to those people who have enriched my life here. Keep it coming!