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Looking Back, Moving Forward

Posted December 26, 2012 in Beaverdale
Cathryn Lang at her new job at Beaverdale Books. She retired from her job as a literacy leader for public schools this summer and started at the book store. As she looks back on 2012, she says the birth of her first grandchild and her new job are highlights of the year.

Cathryn Lang at her new job at Beaverdale Books. She retired from her job as a literacy leader for public schools this summer and started at the book store. As she looks back on 2012, she says the birth of her first grandchild and her new job are highlights of the year.

The end of the year and the marking of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays means a time of reflection for many. It’s a chance to take a minute and look back on the good, the bad and everything in between. It’s also a time when some make resolutions for the New Year. Others may vow to make changes for a fresh start or reanalyze the priorities in their lives.

As 2012 draws to an end, we asked those in Beaverdale to reflect back on the year and to talk about what they’re most looking forward to for 2013.

2012 means retirement, new grandchild
For Cathryn Long, 2012 was a year she will never forget.

“My first grandchild was born,” she says with a smile on her face. Long’s daughter gave birth to Gavin on April 25.

The little guy, who lives in Edina, Minn., with his parents, never stops smiling, his grandma brags.

Long also retired in 2012 from her job as a school literacy leader for Des Moines public schools. She began working at Beaverdale Books this summer.

She says she loves retirement and looks forward to spending lots of time with her grandson in 2013 and working at her new job.

“It has just been heaven, and I’m looking forward to more of it,” Long says.

Proud of his success
Bob Kading says he can’t think of 2012 without thinking about the success of his business, Custom Upholstery.

He says it has been a consistently good year with business growing. He believes it will be a banner year and the best he’s had since he bought the business in 1999.

Bob Kading stands inside his Beaverdale business. He says 2012 was a great year for his upholstery business, and he hopes 2013 is just as successful.

Bob Kading stands inside his Beaverdale business. He says 2012 was a great year for his upholstery business, and he hopes 2013 is just as successful.

Kading says he doesn’t know what led to such a successful year. In a time when other businesses and industries are reporting growth in sales as a result of an improved economy, Kading says his business isn’t dependent on the same factors. Most of his orders are for high-end jobs or antiques in which the person has a personal connection. He also says upholstering furniture is cheaper than buying new, so it’s possible people decided to go that route and save money while still having furniture that looks new.

Kading says he looks forward to more success in 2013. His business has grown to the point where he relies on his reputation and referrals, so he hopes is continues next year.

State Fair booth spreads word about popular candy store
This summer marked a milestone for Tom Coleman’s business, Beaverdale Confections, the popular longtime Beaverdale candy store known for its gourmet marshmallows.

Coleman had his first vendor booth at the Iowa State Fair last summer.

“That exposed us to a ton of people,” he says.

With the State Fair booth and other extra events, Coleman says business was booming this year. He hopes for the same in 2013.

Along with his business, Coleman says 2012 meant lots of money spent on education for his children. His oldest daughter attends St. Louis University, while his three younger children are in private school. He suspects there will be more of the same in 2013.

Warm weather = lots of biking miles
The mild winter and warm summer meant lots of miles on the bicycle of Aimee Langager this year.

“It was good weather for riding,” she says, adding that she had a lot of fun bicycle rides this year.

Langager logged more than 2,500 miles on her bicycle in 2012. She says she’s previously never ridden more than 2,200 miles. She rode lots of recreational miles in addition to commuter miles to and from work. Most of her riding was with her husband or friends.

Aimee Langager says 2012 was a year of bicycle riding. She logged more than 2,500 miles on her bicycle this year. In 2013, she’s looking forward to attending graduate school.

Aimee Langager says 2012 was a year of bicycle riding. She logged more than 2,500 miles on her bicycle this year. In 2013, she’s looking forward to attending graduate school.

She says some of her favorite rides this year were the High Trestle Trail, a 25-mile path that runs from Ankeny to Woodward. The drawing attraction of the ride is the bridge that spans a half-mile long across the Des Moines River. It stands 13 stories high and draws riders for the views that can be seen from it.

Langager also says she enjoyed riding the Inter-Urban Trail, a 3.6-mile segment that goes into the Beaverdale neighborhood. She says she likes how many of the trails in central Iowa are now connected.

Langager is still waiting on the status of her graduate school application to start classes in the spring semester at Iowa State University. So 2013 could mean her pursuing a degree in interdisciplinary graduate studies. The degree takes three areas and combines them. In Langager’s case, she wants to study English, speech communications and journalism.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to school and staying healthy and hanging out with friends,” she says.

A new outlook on life
Kathy Thoreson has had a difficult year.

“For me, it’s been a year of health challenges,” she says. “I’ve had a couple of major surgeries, so I’m looking forward to a year of improved health.”

Thoreson had a hip replacement earlier this year. The hip was not healing properly, so an MRI was conducted, which showed a tumor on her kidney. The result was a second major surgery in which part of her kidney was removed less than six months after the hip replacement.

“All of those things lay you up and spit you out,” she says.

Thoreson says it was a blessing to have found the tumor because the majority of tumors — she was told 98 percent — on the kidney are cancerous. However, hers was found early enough that it was benign and required the removal of part of her kidney.

It’s been six months since Thoreson’s last surgery, and she says she’s doing much better. She feels better even though it’s been a long recovery.

“I’m just looking forward to feeling better” in 2013, she says.

Thoreson also says she looks forward to the holidays and spending a lot of time with her grandchildren in 2013.

So as you take a moment to look back on 2012 and prepare for the start of a new year, read this poem by Taylor Addison, which we thought fit the passing of the year and the start of a new one.

Time for new beginnings
    “This is a time for reflection as well as celebration.
    As you look back on the past year and all that has taken place in your life,
    Remember each experience for the good that has come of it and for the knowledge you have gained.
    Remember the efforts you have made and the goals you have reached.
    Remember the love you have shared and the happiness you have brought.
    Remember the laughter, the joy, the hard work and the tears.
    And as you reflect on the past year, also be thinking of the new one to come.
    Because most importantly, this is a time of new beginnings and the celebration of life.”





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