What makes Iowa the place you call home?

When I decided to move to Iowa, I did so based solely on a job offer from The Gazette Company, my day spent in Cedar Rapids for the interview and a subsequent afternoon I spent driving around in the city looking for safe places to live. I made the move not knowing much about what the area would have to offer. Would I find friends? Would I find organizations I would enjoy joining? Would the people here be friendly? What would I do to fill my time when I was not working? As April approaches, so does my one-year mark working at The Gazette and living in Cedar Rapids. Looking back, I’ve been pleasantly surprised about my experiences here so far. Iowa has a lot to offer. Last year, I enjoyed an outdoor jazz concert at the Brucemore historic site in Cedar Rapids. I spent many Saturday mornings roaming around the downtown Farmer’s markets. I had a great time overindulging at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. I saw a wonderful production of “The Music Man” at the Paramount Theatre. As I’ve had all these positive experiences, I’ve shared them with my family and friends back home in the suburbs of Chicago. I even managed to convince my sister who lives in New York City to make the drive from my parents’ house in Naperville to Cedar Rapids last year to spend a day and night with me. While we were standing in the Cedar Rapids Public Library, she looked around in awe at the beautiful facility and said she was impressed. I don’t know when she’ll make…