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Rich Paulsen - What’s Up

Five-year anniversary of surviving the tornado

I had a front-row seat for the tornado that hit five years ago Friday. I was in the front room of our condo when the EF2 tornado hit our place.

Thank goodness it came and went in about seven or eight seconds. If it had hung around for a while I probably wouldn’t be here to write about it.

Our condo was rebuilt in about nine months, which I thought was pretty fast considering all the circumstances starting from the ground up. We were fortunate that between State Farm, Winterstien and all the wonderful local contractors, we had a nice new place before the next Groundhog Day. Thank goodness no one died in the unannounced event. But even today there is still new construction going on from the event, plus reminders with all the scars left on the trees. Hopefully this will be my one and only encounter with Mother Nature’s fury up close and personal!

Easter

There will be plenty of Easter egg hunts going on this weekend. It looks like the temperature will be nice, if we can just dodge some of those rain clouds that may sneak through once in a while. It is nice to see the sun back. Those two weeks without it were starting to make some people pretty grumpy. The one good thing is many of the spring flowers are out and growing. 

Planting

I saw a number of tractors in the field on my way back from Omaha the other day. It looks like planting of the fields is in full progress. Hopefully the yields are good this year, as were last. Now if we can just get the prices of corn and beans to come up some. 

Unemployment

The unemployment rate in Iowa is now down to 3.2 percent. It is getting harder and harder for businesses to find people. Maybe some of the high school and college kids will be out looking for some summer jobs soon. It just seems like a lot of kids don’t work in the summer as much as we did back in the day. How do they pay their cell phone bill?!

Condos

I see the first new owners of the Taylor Estate condos are moving in out on Cottonwood Street. It is great to see that area of town starting to see new people. I’m sure the Adams Street bridge opening sometime soon would be a big shot in the arm to all the people on that side of town. I’m guessing we are still a couple of months away before that becomes a reality, though. It is that time of year where there are a number of houses going on the market. 

Prom

The weekend after Easter looks to be the main night for a number of proms in the area. Creston had theirs last weekend but the majority of them seem to be April 22. I’ve heard some high schools don’t have theirs until May. That seems pretty late to me. I’m just glad those days are over. I’m amazed at all the money and effort that go into one night of fun. 

Arizona

I made a trip down to Arizona to pick up a number of items my uncle, who passed away last year, left me in his will. I now have my grandmother’s cookie jar that I remember as a kid having these wonderful iced sugar cookies she always made. It is one of those owl cookie jars that now brings back tons of memories of those visits to grandma’s house when I was a kid. Well worth the 1,500-mile drive!

Gas

Speaking of my 1,500-mile drive through seven states, the cheapest gas was in Phoenix and Oklahoma City and the most expensive was right here in Creston, Iowa! 

Thought for the week: “Bunnies are cuddly, the large and the small. But I like chocolate ones ... the best of them all!” – Unknown

Joke of the week: How does the Easter Bunny stay in shape? He eggs-ercises. – Unknown

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