Holiday Letter 2021

Season’s greetings! We hope this letter finds you safe and well.

As with many things in 2020, the holiday letter went out the window. So, this will be a two year recap. 😉

Little did I know that taking a leap of faith into my own business in 2018 would prove helpful during a worldwide pandemic a year and a half later. I was already accustomed to working from home and had clients who relied on some of my services even more-so without in-person events. The 50-50 in 2020 organization had made the decision to dissolve after the candidate training cycle that concluded with the Blueprint for Winning Academy at the end of January 2020. We were able to wrap everything up neatly well before the pandemic hit. I knew this would be concluding when I first signed on with the organization, and the timing of everything proved to be impeccable.

Covid affected each of us differently. My favorite saying pertaining to this strange time has been, “We may all be in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat.” Each of us experienced a different reality. Thankfully my life was not disrupted to the extent others’ were. I was able to mostly work from home and stay safe and covid free. When the derecho hit Des Moines in August 2020, I experienced two and a half days without power and a fridge full of spoiled food. Once again, I counted my blessings.

My fifth niece Mary Josephine was born on July 18, 2020. With Covid restrictions in place, I was not able to visit the hospital and instead spent two days and one night as Nanny Mel for her older siblings in Bennett. We had a blast! And then, when my sister Sarah and brother-in-law-Jeremiah arrived home from the hospital, the kids surprised me by telling me that I would be the first to hold sweet Mary. So I am 6 for 6 with holding my nephew and nieces first after their parents!

The most trying part of 2020 was my mom’s 70-day stay in hospitals and rehab facilities after aspirating on food and enduring multiple complications from Parkinson’s disease. You can read previous blog posts for all of the details. She and my dad left home for routine appointments and errands on August 28 not knowing that she wouldn’t return until November 6. So thankful to have Mom at home again, albeit with a lot of new caregiving requirements.

Percy, Gemma, and I moved from Des Moines to Davenport on November 4, 2020. We found the perfect rental house in the McClellan Heights neighborhood complete with a porch and swing, fenced in back yard, and an amazing front room for our office. We love being back in the Quad Cities and closer to family. I enjoy more frequent visits from my nephew and nieces, as well as my once or twice weekly trips to Durant to see my parents.

While concert going and cross country and overseas trips were put on hold during these past two years, I was able to enjoy a few other fun times:

  • I read 67 books in 2020 and have read 55 books thus far in 2021.
  • The pups and I have explored many new trails and parks across the state of Iowa.
  • I took one weekend trip in 2020 to Omaha/Council Bluffs for cousins Allison and James’s high school graduation and great aunt Marilyn’s memorial service.
  • I visited my bestie Jen and her family, along with a few of my college friends, in Lee’s Summit, MO in July 2021.
  • I treated myself to a long weekend in Milwaukee when visiting the city for cousin Tess and Eugene’s wedding in August 2021.
  • My favorite kids resumed their weekend visits to my place in December 2020. While we were not able to venture out during the first round of visits, we are now visiting more of the Quad Cities including the Quad City Symphony Orchestra at the Adler Theater, Cafe d’Marie, Figge Art Museum, Freight House Farmers’ Market, Me & Billy, Putnam Museum, and multiple River Bandits minor league baseball games at Modern Woodmen Park.

As 2021 comes to a close and I reflect back on these past two years, I am amazed by all that has happened within a short window of time. I have learned to embrace change while becoming more resilient. By going through the tough times, I am learning how to better enjoy the good times. Let’s all unleash the joy during this holiday season, and let it carry us into 2022.

Love,
Melissa, Percy, and Gemma

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Five Years in Five Months

The last time I wrote a blog post, I was ten days away from moving from Des Moines to Davenport. And finally, nearly 90 days after moving, I have progressed enough with my life’s tasks to be making time to blog once again.

This was a pretty fast move. I had a move to the Quad Cities area in my sites for late 2021 or even 2022, but you know what they say about plans…..

My reason for moving back to the Quad Cities area was family, and specifically my mom. Her Parkinson’s has been progressing more rapidly since the summer of 2019, but with so many things, we always think we have more time.

Me and my mom enjoying an afternoon together, just one week before she was rushed to the ER in Davenport.

Then she aspirated while eating a donut on Friday, August 28, 2020, and ended up in the Genesis ER in Davenport, soon to be transported to the ICU at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois. It was the closest ICU bed open. (So yeah, those Covid-19 news briefings telling us that we had plenty of open hospital beds in Iowa at that time…..)

I went to Peoria the next day and stayed there for two nights even though I was not allowed into the hospital due to Covid restrictions. I went to support my dad, who was the only one allowed in to see my mom. I was his chauffeur and tour guide, selecting spots for outdoor fresh air relief and good meals.

During that Sunday in Peoria, I attended mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, and that is when I was hit with a wave of “You need to move NOW.” OK, God. 10-4. Moving. ASAP.

So the next two months were a blur with rearranging my life and preparing for a move. Things seemed messy, but I knew they would work out. God told me they would. And they did, even better than I could have ever imagined.

While Mom was in Peoria, we were riding a roller coaster. She was better, and then she was sedated. She had g-tube surgery. And then a tracheotomy. She was also on a ventilator for a few weeks.

Mom was finally transferred to Select Specialty Hospital in Davenport and then to acute rehab at St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids. While in Davenport and Cedar Rapids, I was able to visit her once a week. She was released to go home TWO DAYS after I moved to Davenport. Chills.

Pedi time!

Since moving, I have been able to continue to work from home and visit my parents an average of two times per week to help with Mom’s care. She has five g-tube feedings every day that include a combination of Parkinson’s medication and her liquid food, and Mom tells me I am a pro during my feeding shifts. She requires daily and monthly trach maintenance, and I have helped with some of that. I have also helped her shower, given some pretty awesome manis and pedis if I do say so, played solitaire, lost at UNO, colored, and baked with her.

My mom is a fighter. And she shows so much gratitude toward me every time I help her with something. I tell her that it is my privilege to be able to help her. I recently heard the term tragic privilege, and that sums up how I feel on the inside.

I am thankful that my mom is able to safely live at home, and that my dad is such a rockstar with shouldering 99% of the workload to care for her. I have a newfound admiration for caregivers and those living with Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases.

I feel like the past five months have actually been five years, based upon the emotional and spiritual journey I have embarked upon. This lady is not the same one who woke up on Friday morning, August 28, 2020.

While I wish my mom did not have a horrible disease that was robbing her of the life she once knew, I am thankful for how this experience has strengthened relationships, humbled me, and begun to transform me into a better person.

And if you are facing a really tough moment in your life, consider going to mass. You may sob the entire time and feel immensely vulnerable like I did, but you might also be quiet long enough to hear God telling you something important. 😉

The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception – August 30, 2020

Seester Sunday: Happy Halloween!

This “Seester Sunday” article is being posted a full three months after the fact, as I have been busy with all things 50-50 in 2020 and caucus related! Thanks for your patience as I catch up on posts!

Sarah:

Happy Halloween! This week’s Seester Sunday is a little different as we were together all weekend! YAY! Mel arrived to our house Thursday evening and we got to do all kinds of fun things together until Sunday night! We had close to 6 inches of snow on Halloween so our trick or treating was postponed until Sunday evening, which ended up being a beautiful day. It worked out well. We got to go shopping, paint pumpkins, watch movies, celebrate a birthday, rake leaves, hike, eat a lot of yummy food, go to Mass (twice!) and trick or treat! Mel is a much better historian than me, so I’m sure she can fill in the details of the rest of the weekend in pictures, if she wishes 😉 . We got to go to Mass together on Sunday morning, and here we are afterwards, ready to eat brunch!

I got dressed before I got Lucy out of bed, and she decided we needed to be twins after she got up. I do enjoy this, as I’m pretty sure she won’t want to match me so much in a few short years! So I’m wearing a navy/white dress **with pockets** from HERE.  I also put on fleece lined tights from Target (so cozy!), a thrifted jean jacket and brown boots that I’ve had forever. Lucy’s entire outfit is thrifted, all from Once Upon a Child consignment stores (striped dress, jean jacket and boots), tights are from Walmart. Lucy’s always so adorable. The pic turned out good, but our first take looked like this:

Classic. Aunt and Mom fussing over Lucy’s hair to get it out of her face. Lucy’s cute regardless!

Brunch at our house was not complete today without Sunday Mimosas! Kateri was eyeing these pretty hard!

Later that night we went trick or treating. We had quite the crew!

Costume contest winners Snoopy with Charlie Brown and Sally; Anna from Frozen; a mermaid; a blue man; Tinkerbell; Waldo; a strawberry; Snow White. We now have way more candy than any family should ever own! 

********************

Melissa:

Yes, Happy Halloween! I have been thrilled to be able to dress up with my favorite little people and trick or treat with them for the past six years! This weekend marked year seven. You can check out our previous costumes at https://melissagesing.wordpress.com/2019/10/31/halloween-costume-history/.

In addition to our Halloween tradition, I try to attend mass with my sister’s family a few times a year outside of holidays. As a godparent to all of her kids, I think it’s important to partake in the sacraments with them, visit their parish, and try to be a spiritual role model – or at least a sounding board – as they get older. 

This Sunday I wore a new sweater and skirt outfit by A New Day at Target. My tights and boots are also from Target – surprise, I know! 😉 

Spending time with my sister’s family is truly a blessing. Here are a few more photos from our HalloWeekend:

Lunch with Amelia at Chick-fil-A!

 

Gabriel reading and snuggling with my pups. ❤️

Lucy painting her pumpkin.

Playing in the leaves with Ruth!

Finding Kateri playing in a box.

Happy Sunday Funday, everyone!

Downtown Davenport Adventures: The Loop

How many of us say we want a good public transportation system but then neglect to use what we have?  My hand is in the air.  So, in that spirit – and in the spirit of not wanting to drive all of the time – I decided to try out The Loop this summer.

The Loop hits the major metro hot spots in downtown Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, and Rock Island.  It has limited hours – mostly evenings and weekends.  It costs $1 a trip or $3 unlimited for the day.  They have a schedule of stops which I have neglected to save or print for use.  I will be doing this soon.

My first adventure on The Loop was to The Grape Life in Rock Island to wine it up with some friends.  I waited at the Adler Theater stop and managed to catch it going directly to Rock Island.  Two routes run simultaneously, clockwise and counterclockwise.

$9 Wine Flight = Bliss

When going home, I took the scenic route through Moline and Bettendorf before hitting home.  The most recent upgrade to The Loop system is being able to pull the cord to be let off anywhere along the route.  You can also take your chances and try to flag The Loop down at any spot along the route, but to me that is a lot of effort for not living in NYC.

My second Loop adventure was in late August and proved to be not as rewarding as the first.  The trip from Davenport to Moline was great, and I arrived within 10 minutes of when I intended to arrive – without a schedule, at that!  But when I jumped on The Loop in downtown Moline sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 1:00 a.m., I discovered I missed the final Davenport stop for the night.  See, I briefly glanced at the last stop on the schedule earlier in the evening.  When I read 1:15 a.m., I didn’t think to read any further as to what location that was.

I took the loop to Bettendorf so I would at least be on the Iowa side of the river.  Then I called a cab and waited outside of the Isle for a good 20 minutes.  When I arrived in front of my door, I shelled out $15 for the ride.  Grrr.  Totally defeated the purpose of The Loop.  The icing on the cake was being out of cash and having to withdraw from the ATM across the street prior to paying the cabbie.  Yep, charged to take out my own money.  Pet peeve 99 of mine.

But I can’t blame this on The Loop.  I must be more diligent with my mastery of The Loop schedule.  And if you are going to have a few drinks, any cab inconvenience is way better than driving when you shouldn’t.  I’ll be promoting The Loop all I can.  Just make sure you know the schedule.

Attempting to Become a Runner

I am not the athletic one in the family.  I am not the athletic one, period.  I even managed to not get a ribbon in one of the annual elementary school track meets in which I fully participated.  Oh wait, I did get a participation ribbon, which was presented to me under the auspice of being “under the weather” at our school-wide assembly that year.  How nice of my P.E. teacher.

I had moments when I wanted to be athletic, but then realized as I got older that we all have unique talents.  I am good at enough other things that I really can’t be mad at God for giving me no real athletic abilities.  And I also found watching sports to be more fun than participating in them.

I started running on and off about halfway through college when my roomie Amy inspired me to work out.  I wasn’t into the weights and stuff, but I loved the burst of adrenaline that cardio workouts provided.  My sporadic running and cardio workout phases have continued on and off during the past decade or so.

I never thought I’d run a road race, let alone the Bix 7.  But, as they say, never say never!  I watched the race – yes, people watch it like a parade! – in 2007 and knew right away I needed to try it.  Lots of people were walking, and I could at the very least walk seven miles.

It took me three years to finally do it.  I signed up last summer as a fast walker, waiting all by myself for the race to begin.  My sister and brother were way up front in the first class of runners.

Even though I was sore for a full three days after the race, I loved it.  Of course I could have avoided some of the pain had I actually trained for the race.  Since I had signed up to walk, I assumed no training was necessary.  When about the third old, old guy passed me, I decided to alternately run and walk.  Thus, the pain.

This year I am once again out of running shape, but I at least have run three of the four Bix at 6 races on Thursday nights.  The first one was very painful, as I did not work my way up to the seven miles prior to June 23rd.

Blisters on my heels from the June 23rd Bix at 6

While it’s tough to live up to the standards of my sister, brother-in-law, and brother when it comes to running, they are good sources of advice for things like avoiding blisters on my feet.  I learned Wright Socks do the trick.  I wore them at the next two Bix at 6 races, and the blisters are gone!

This morning my hamstrings hurt from the final Bix at 6.  I will miss the Thursday night races, and I must now rely on my own prioritizing and scheduling to ensure I keep up my training for the big day on July 30.

If you haven’t run a Bix 7 race, I encourage you to do so.  Not only is it a challenging course with lots of camaraderie amongst both runners and walkers, you get free beer and eats at the end of it.  And, for me, it keeps me running here and there.

Fridays with G: Fun at VanderVeer Park

G and I had a short and shared time together last Friday.  We met at VanderVeer Park in Davenport, along with Sarah and Lucy.  The last time I remember walking around VanderVeer was during a family photo shoot back in September 2006.  And the time before that was for Sarah and Jeremiah’s wedding pictures in July 2006.  I drive past the park all of the time.

Like it is with many things, I continued to tell myself, “Tomorrow I will stop and check it out.”  And before you know it, several hundred tomorrows have passed.  Last Friday was that “tomorrow”.  Maybe I was meant to put this off until I had a niece and nephew, along with my sister, to share it with.

I beat the trio to the park so sat and read my two-month-old Time magazine for a few minutes.  (Reading old magazines cover to cover will be addressed in a separate post.)  As I walked up to the car, G was hiding his eyes behind his hands.  Must be a new game.  I helped him out of his car seat.  I keep wondering when he’s going to just bust out of that thing himself.  Probably on a day when I am watching him.

G immediately went to check out the pond.  Then he reached for the Wheat Thins his mom had packed.  G might like Wheat Things even more than I do.  It’s a toss up.  We sat down to eat a picnic lunch, and G was entertained by the super tame squirrel who refused bread but loved Wheat Thins.

Then it was off to the playground, where G semi-successfully flirted with a couple of girls.  They were both at least a year older than him.  G was super smooth, opting to go on the double side-by-side slides where he could chat with them more.

G seemed to enjoy the large fountain the most.

G at VanderVeer Park

During the loop back to the car, G walked very quietly toward the ducks chilling in the shade.  He pointed and giggled.  I smiled.  This was a great tomorrow.

Fridays with G: Enjoying the Moment

Routine activities become so much better when G is a part of them.  He forces me to slow down and notice things as I attempt to take him in the direction I want to go.

Scenario #1: Starbucks

G and I made our first non-drive thru visit to Starbucks together this past Friday, and he loved it.  He walked through the store, taking in the smells, products, decorations, and people.  We bought him some fruit snacks and oatmeal and found a table near the window.  Soon he was admiring the big comfy chair, perusing the Wall Street Journal, and smiling at the cars going through the drive thru.  He also enjoyed flirting with the baristas, who thought he was the cutest thing ever.

Scenario #2: Target

G and I have been to Target many times.  And since I work there, I often don’t pay attention to much when I am shopping.  G always points out the cool signs hanging from the ceiling and finds a One Spot toy to purchase.  And he will pick out his favorite foods from a mile away: Wheat Thins, cookies, and bananas.

Scenario #3: Mojo’s

I love the RME building in downtown Davenport and appreciate being close to free live music, especially after having lived in a small town for nearly four years.  But this isn’t something I’d necessarily expect G to appreciate.  G might like it as much as I do though.  My 20-month-old nephew can sit still for nearly an hour listening to the local musician play during the lunch hour, and he even does a little jig while sitting in his seat and munching on his sandwich.  He points out the guitar pictures on the wall, gazes up at the open ceiling, and keeps an eye on the traffic outside the big windows.  This past week, he even found interest in the floor.

Scenario #4: Cupcakes, Muffins and More

Of course G appreciates the cupcake shop.  He also plays with the big stuffed bear in the window and attempts to find a way to open the front of the glass display case that holds all of the goodies.  And once again, he really listens to the music, often jazz, in the background.  When G hears music he likes, he gets a very sweet smile on his face and does a bit of head bopping.

Scenario #5: Rides in the Car

G points to lots of stuff as we drive by in my car.  I find myself commenting on the things we see, and he talks back in his own baby language.  He rarely fusses in the car, but instead enjoys the scenery and even takes a nap every now and then.

Scenario #6: Walking Outside

G notices every vehicle and person when walking down the street.  He likes to point and laugh at bicyclists, maybe because they look humorous in their helmets and gear.  He adds sound effects to the big trucks, busses, and emergency vehicles.  And he will get sidetracked by a flower or a weed.  It’s amazing.  If there’s an animal in sight, hang on tight, because G will go for it.

G really pays attention to things around him.  He soaks it all in and has fun with it.  His carefree nature and inquisitiveness can wear me out, but it’s good for me nonetheless.

As you plod through your workday today, try to take a lesson from G and tune into the things around you while following this simple message:

Fridays with G: Baby Networking

G was actually still sleeping when I arrived at his house on Friday morning.  But by the time his dad left for work at 7:30 a.m., he was awake.  There was no mistaking it, as he was making siren noises from his crib.  He visited a Davenport fire station the week before and has a new obsession with fire trucks.

G also has a new room now, to make room for Baby #2, ETA May 18th.  I flipped on the light, said good morning, and he smiled and bounced up and down.  Then I received the biggest hug as I picked him up out of his crib.  And he snuggled for about 20 minutes.  After that, he was ready for breakfast and ready to take a ride in Smurfette.  He even put my shoes on for me!

putting on flip flops

G ready to go
Come on, Aunt Mel! I'm waiting!

This week’s new adventure was toddler story time at the Fairmount branch of the Davenport Public Library.  We arrived early and had time to play first.  I was so proud of myself – until I saw we had a leaking diaper, and of course I left the diaper bag in the car.  So we rushed to get changed and made it back just in time for story time.

story time
Kicking back with the Wells Fargo horse after story time. The name tag is still on!

Just take a moment now to imagine 20 toddlers with their parents and a few siblings, all together in a big room.  It would have been even more entertaining had I not been responsible for keeping one of them in line.  G actually did pretty well.  He kept the sticker name tag on his shirt.  He was just a bit clingy and wanted to take this session to observe before he just jumped in.  We had all sorts of toddlers there – from G’s age of not quite two years old, to four year olds who still haven’t mastered how to behave better than a toddler.  Not judging, just saying….

You had the immaculate kids with their prissy parents, the kids who obviously dressed themselves, the kids whose parents must obviously want them to be nerds their entire lives, and then the seemingly average kids.

I felt the other parents pass judgment on me as soon as the song time began and G didn’t want to stand up.  After song time was story time, and that’s when the real fun began.  A few of the kids had to wander, and the one kid who has to sit as close as possible to the reader was present and accounted for.  We also had the two brothers fighting over whether one could sit next to the other.

When the two stories were done, it was open play time, and the librarian opened up a cabinet of toys.  Of course G went for the Melissa & Doug buildable trucks toy – not only because of his fascination with trucks, but also because Aunt Mel couldn’t figure out what pieces went where.  (By the way, they have directions on the bottom of the truck bases – good to know.)

G befriended a boy named Jacob, whose dad seemed to be somewhat judgmental of me, given his looks in my direction.  I finally told him I was the aunt and this was our first story time.  That helped, a little bit.

Then we played with toddler Matilda and her grandmother, who insisted on calling Gabriel “Gabe”.  His name tag clearly stated Gabriel, and my sister secretly wants to deck anyone who calls him anything else.  This desire was building up in me also.  The grandmother continued to call Gabriel “Gabe” and me “Gabe’s mommy”.  I had corrected enough people on my relation to Gabriel by that point, and it would be tough to correct her on the mommy thing and not the Gabe thing.  So I let it all slide.  After all, Gabriel does call me Mommy.  We are diligently working on saying Aunt Mel.

I walked away from toddler story time feeling pretty good about our baby networking.  I was annoyed by the presence of politics in baby activities – there were definite status structures and relationships built there – but politics is everywhere, they say.  And I was proud of G for being open to something outside of his comfort zone.  He never ran away, screamed, or misbehaved.  He even shared toys with others.

We rewarded ourselves with some Culver’s fish, fries, and chocolate frozen custard.

Culver's frozen custard

Later that afternoon it appeared I had used up G’s allotment of behaving for the day.  He laid in his crib for over 30 minutes without taking a nap.  I’ll give you one guess what sound I heard during that entire time.

Appreciating Home

“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”  – Benjamin Franklin
While at cousin Tess’s 21st birthday festivities this weekend, the subject of home came up a few times.  Of course, small town Iowa and Minnesota were mentioned in the mix, but mostly as a launching ground more than a home.  Past, present, and future home cities Chicago, Davenport, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, Seattle, and New York City were all mentioned.  (Now, I know Davenport isn’t even close to the size of the rest of those cities!)
When visiting another city or home, one can’t help but to compare it to his or her own home.  We realize we often take our own homes for granted, whether they offer solitude, city life, mountains, or great scenery.  Cost of living is another factor that inevitably makes its way into the discussion.
Last night, I realized that I am pretty comfy in my new Davenport home as I looked out the window at the Mississippi River and small city lights.  Each place I have lived has offered a different element of home for me.  Fredericksburg was the childhood home of familiarity.  Indianola was my college home.  Des Moines was my first adult home.  Houston was the out-of-my-comfort-zone and warm-weathered home.  And Durant was the transitional home to help me determine my next step. 
Not sure what the official role of my Davenport home will be.  I just know it was a welcome site on Sunday evening.

Main Street Davenport vs. Main Street Durant

Day 9 in my new digs at 324 North Main Street in Davenport, and I can’t help but compare and mostly contrast my new surroundings with the old.

I’m taking on a Letterman format with this one.

Top Ten Differences between Main Street Davenport and Main Street Durant, Iowa:

10.  On Main Street Davenport, I can open my windows.

On Main Street Durant, I could only open two of my twenty windows because they were either painted shut or too broken to open without losing the entire thing.

9.  On Main Street Davenport, I am within walking distance of the Figge, Redstone Room, restaurants, library, St. Anthony’s church, and a tattoo shop.

On Main Street Durant, I was within walking distance to nearly everything in town, with the hot spots being the Dew Drop, Westfair Drug, Jeff’s Market, and the American Legion.

8.  On Main Street Davenport, my apartment is small and cozy.

On Main Street Durant, my apartment was large and cozy.

7.  On Main Street Davenport, I am greeted by lots of people on the way to my car in the morning – apartment staff, the deli guys, a random homeless person, and a new person who wants to chat.

On Main Street Durant, I was greeted by people honking their horns thinking I noticed who was driving by.

6.  On Main Street Davenport, my new apartment was spotless when I moved in.

On Main Street Durant, I had to clean my apartment multiple times before it was suitable to live in.

5.  On Main Street Davenport, everyone seems to want to swing by and say hi.

On Main Street Durant, only friendly stalkers would want to swing by and say hi.  Everyone else would say, “Where’s Durant?”

4.  On Main Street Davenport, I hear random city noises, but the inside of the building is relatively quiet.

On Main Street Durant, no city noises existed.  I’d hear the occasional fire truck since the station was across the street, along with a teeny bopper squealing tires.  Inside, I could hear downstairs neighbor Kathy yelling at her grandson, arguing with her daughter, or talking to her dead husband.

3.  On Main Street Davenport, I say hi to the property owner in the hallway and the next day I have a discount on my rent.

On Main Street Durant, my landlord only visited the property when something had been broken and I repeatedly called to have it fixed.  And then I had to fight just to get my deposit back.

2.  On Main Street Davenport, I have some anonymity.

On Main Street Durant, everyone was watching.

1.  On Main Street Davenport, I feel at home.

On Main Street Durant, I felt at home for almost four years.