How an Oregon girl ended up in Iowa

I grew up in Oregon and though I haven’t lived there for thirtysome years I always thought when my husband and I retired we would live somewhere in Oregon or Washington. (Even though my husband did grow up in Iowa!)

My husband was in the military so we moved around quite a bit. We haven’t really had anyplace we called “home.” Even after he retired from the military we moved a few times for his second job.

The last few years we’ve talked about where we wanted to live when he retired. Even though I still love the West Coast it’s expensive.

We’ve spent quite a few years either living in the Midwest (Missouri and Ohio at various times) or visiting various family members here. And I’ve grown to love the Midwest.

Now we have a daughter in Illinois and a daughter in Iowa. (and a son in New York City, but we knew we couldn’t live there!) And lots more relatives in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Before I left Oregon I knew nothing about the Midwest–except, of course, there were tornadoes everywhere!

Des Moines, IA--state capitol
Des Moines, IA–state capitol

Now I live in Iowa–and hope to stay here the rest of my life!






The hardest part of starting a new blog

You know the hardest part of starting a new blog? Picking a name! I had more trouble picking out a name for this blog than I had picking out names for our three children with my husband.

First I had trouble thinking of a “good” name and then if I came up with something. . . someone else thought of it first.

I tried to think about what I wanted to write about: family life, cooking, reading, photography, travel, card making, gardening, plants and on and on. Maybe I should have named the blog Etcetera or Miscellaneous–but someone has probably used that, too…lol.

Then I thought about a name that says something about me: my name is Jan so I thought of Jan’s Journeys (nice alliteration–and already taken).

Then I thought–I just moved to Iowa–so maybe I could use that: Confused in Iowa, What am I doing in Iowa?, Meandering through Iowa. No those didn’t “speak” to me.

Since my husband just retired: Retired Life orĀ  Life in the empty nest. But I’ve seen that one before.

The Des Moines River — “River of the Monks”

As you can see I tend to over think things!

Finally, in desperation I thought: I’m living in Des Moines, Iowa. Turns out Des Moines means “River of the Monks.” A name given by early French trappers probably. I like to find out about the places we live so I may write a little about the history and life here in Des Moines. As well as all those other things I enumerated above.

And I’m tired of thinking about it — so that’s how the blog got its name. I hope blogging gets easier after this!