This summer has led me on an amazing journey into the story of the Andreessen family of Stout, IA. To begin, I met another interested person, who incidentally lives in the very house where the story began, and I’m happy to now call her my friend. Additionally, I met members of her family who were absolutely wonderful and who welcomed me into their home where we shared thoughts and insights into the story as well. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever have the chance to meet people also associated with the story and in such a unique way.
One of the things I’ve learned from this journey so far is that I am not alone. There are others who share the same interests as I do. More importantly, I was reminded about how wonderful people in Iowa are. Not only do we want to connect with each other, but we also support each other, we welcome them into our homes, and we encourage each other in our pursuits.
When I started this blog, I thought I would be the only one reading it — with the exception of an interested family member or two. I thought it would become my way of recording my stories and something for me to turn back to over the years to see what I did and what I learned. Now I see it in a very different way. I see it as a way to make connections, to expand my way of understanding these stories and the people they involve. With each new connection, I learn more and can share more.
The most important part of all of this is to honor those whose stories we tell. We all lead imperfect lives, but we can still celebrate life and remember all that made people good, that made them our families and our friends, that made them Iowans.