Like many county residents, newlyweds Scott and Robin Simmons had a lot to celebrate in 2013. And, with both of them in the middle of career transitions, they also have a lot to look forward to in 2014.
Last spring Robin was planning a traditional wedding — and starting to get stressed about it — when she heard about a Des Moines radio station’s plan to offer couples a simpler way to get hitched at the Iowa State Fair. She emailed the station right away, and she and Scott became one of 26 couples to wed at the fair in one big ceremony.
Robin says, for her, it was a way to include her grandparents, now deceased, in the wedding.
“My grandparents used to take me to the state fair every year, and it just felt like it was right,” she says.
A few months before the wedding, Robin completed an early education degree and hopes to eventually work as an elementary teacher. In September, she started a position at the Southern Iowa Economic Development Association working with pregnant women and new mothers.
“I want to do first grade, but I am happy with what I have right now because I still get to teach little kids and parents,” she says.
Scott, who was in restaurant management for about 20 years, is looking forward in the next year to graduating from Buena Vista University with a double major in accounting and business administration and starting an accounting career. He also teaches music lessons, and his band, 20 Foot Forehead, recently released its second album.
Many other residents also had eventful years and are looking forward to what is coming next.
“In 2013, the most important thing was probably Pancake Day because I got to experience running in the queen contest, and I won Miss Congeniality, which was nice. I was really sad — but happy-sad. I was sad the experience was over, and I was happy because I got to get closer to girls I never thought I could. I am looking forward to going to college and starting my new life at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Mo.”
“In 2013 I came home again from California after 40 years. I returned to Centerville to be with family; being with family is such an important thing. I look forward to 2014 because I am getting a community theater started again. I actually have six plays already picked out, and I am just trying to work out all the details. I would like to see live theater back in Centerville.”
“In 2013 the most important thing was moving into my own place. I had been living with my brother and family, and I was able to get out and find my own place and do my own thing. There are quite a lot of things I’m looking forward to in 2014. The thing I’m looking forward to most is getting back to work. I’ve been down for a while, and now everything is OK and I am getting ready to get back to work.”
“A big change is going to college and living on my own. I love my art classes. My passion is art, so there is a fun part in college. I will have another niece or nephew in January or February, and I’ve been working on my weight and lost some weight. Even though the holidays are temptations, I’m still going to work on it. In 2014 I should be taking a family trip to Dallas, Texas, to visit some relatives. And I’m job searching.”
“In 2013, my second nephew was born. He was pretty much unexpected, but not unwanted. In 2014 I am looking to find work to pay off student loans.”
“The most important thing — well, the only real big event going on right now — is that my daughter became a senior this year, and she’ll be graduating in 2014 and going into nursing. Work or my daughter — that’s about what it is.”
“Me and my son, Joey, got our own place, and it gave us more father-son time, more time to hang out and do things. It’s never been just me and him before. In 2014 I’m looking forward to buying a new house. Maybe I won’t have to work as much, and I’ll have more time to spend with family. It seems like that’s all I’ve been doing for the last year — I’ve been working.”
“The biggest thing this year was the birth of a great grandson. And we celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary. In the future, we just hope to have another good year and watch our great grandson grow — and spoil him as much as we can.”
“This year has been the first year of early retirement for me, and my mother passed away, so those have been two big events in 2013, and the birth of two grandchildren as well. In 2014 I’m looking forward to spending some time with grandchildren and figuring out retirement.”
“Some people wouldn’t agree with this, but the most important thing to me was actually Obamacare because I didn’t have health insurance, so that was important to me. My stepdaughter went to join the National Guard and did basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and job training at Fort Lee, Va., which is where I did it when I was her age in the Army. In 2014 I look forward to staying home with my 2-year-old daughter.”
“The most important thing this year was getting my boy’s apartment all fixed up and getting him moved into it — not that I wanted him out of the house, but he was excited. And for 2014, I’m looking forward to my new job adventure at the Machinery Barn.”
“We are getting ready to move into the house I grew up in, so the kids get to have memories in the same house. I know what I’m looking forward to in 2014 — going to Florida. I am going to be there on New Year’s Day to see my daughter dance at the Capital One Bowl.”
“What I am most pleased about as far as our nation is concerned is that we elected Barack Obama as president of the United States and that the equality of women continues to progress. And what am I looking forward to in 2014 is the success of the Affordable Care Act and spending time with my grandchildren.”
“I retired in 2013, so that was my most memorable event. In 2014 I am looking forward to learning how to be retired. I’m looking forward to seeing my granddaughter more.”
“My family was most important to me this year. My brother just had a baby, so that is all different, and it kind of made me wake up and realize I need to start changing my ways and go for something bigger. I’m looking for a better job and just to be successful, trying my hardest every day to acquire good habits.”
“I’m getting my GED, so in 2013, I’m looking forward to finishing school and getting a job. In 2014, I’m looking forward to having a job.”
“It’s been a pretty normal year, so there were no hugely significant changes. I’m learning to appreciate life and what you do have. I found out that one of my cousin’s kids has a non-cancerous tumor, and she’s only 8 years old. Any time something like that happens, you realize just how important those little things are. Even unemployed, I’ve got an awful lot to be thankful for. Next year is another new start.”
“I think the most fun I had was going to San Francisco and visiting the Hearst Castle. It was an amazing place to go and see. We saw Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection, worth millions of dollars. And, of course, we got to see our son, which is the reason we went out there. We go to Florida for two-and-a-half months, so I am looking forward to staying out of the winter and playing golf and visiting with my brother. And I’m looking forward to having another good year in Centerville.”
“There was a lot. There was so much, even just here locally, like the talk about Main Street and trying to get that done. Losing our mayor was a big deal for the community because Jim (Senior) was a shining star. He was a very good example and a very good ambassador for Centerville, and of course I think Jan (Spurgeon) will be, too. I think we live in paradise, and we don’t even know it. I am looking forward to continuing to volunteer and try to bring smiles to people and share my life’s journey.”
From events gone by, events to come, Appanoose County residents have much to remember and to look forward do. We hope it will be a happy, healthy year for everyone in Appanoose County.