Moving from suburban Madison, Wis., to Clear Lake a little more than a year ago was a minor culture shock for Jason and Sarah Enke and their four children, but it’s one the family is clearly enjoying.
“It was sort of culture shock, but in a good way,” says Sarah.
While Madison itself is much larger, and Jason also grew up in a more urban area in Naperville, Ill., the family is enjoying the small-town features of Clear Lake.
“We are really enjoying the schools here. The kids love it, and their teachers are wonderful,” Sarah adds.
And it’s hard to beat life in a lake town. As the summer sun was fading one recent weekend afternoon, the family was literally spilling out of the house and enjoying every square inch of their corner lot yard. While grandparents assisted in some kite-flying, other members of the family were in another part of the yard getting ready for a long bike ride.
Each member of the family seems to have his or her own favorite thing about their new home and their new hometown.
“Well, I really love to read so I like going to the library because it’s so close,” says 9-year-old Jillian.
Paityn, 4 years old, likes the fact his grandparents come to help with the kite-flying activities. And 6-year-old Blake says riding bikes around town is what he likes to do best. Oldest son Drew wasn’t around, having made lots of friends he needed to visit on such a bright and sunny day.
For her part, Sarah says they have been busy their first year — brightening up the paint colors inside the home, as well as updating both the kitchen and bath in the five-bedroom, two-bath home. The location near downtown seems ideal for a busy family who likes to be outside as much as possible.
“Every nice day we walk down to the lake, and we do picnics; we’re just really an athletic family,” she adds.
Having added a dog to the family since moving to Clear Lake last year, outdoor space is more important than ever.
Perhaps the family’s favorite gathering spot is the backyard patio, perfect for campfires as the cool nights of autumn return to this north Iowa lake town.