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The year is almost half over

Boy, does time fly when you’re getting older!

This year is about half over and it seems like it just started yesterday.

The weather was pretty interesting the first half of the year. I can’t wait to see what Mother Nature has in store for us in the second half of the year. I hope we don’t go from cool and wet to just plain hot and dry.

Too hot

I see they are forecasting record highs in Las Vegas starting Sunday. The weather folks are looking for a high temp of 118 degrees sometime Sunday through Tuesday. The forecast high for Death Valley is looking to be in the 129-degree range this weekend.

We may be lucky with only 80-degree weather forecast for our area over the next week.

Jobs

The Iowa unemployment rate is down to 4.6 percent. The national average is 7.6 percent. Many of the counties in our neck of the woods are even below that.

Union County is at 4.2 percent with Adams County at 3.2 percent leading the way in the area. Taylor and Ringgold counties are at 3.3 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. Adair is at 3.5 percent and Clarke is the highest in the area at 5.6 percent, which is still good compared to the national average. Lyon County up in the far northwest corner of the state leads the state at 2.3 percent.

On the other end of the scale is Lee County, which is in the far southeast corner of the state. It has the highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent.

Iowa is doing well, and if you want to work, there seems to be jobs out there for people.

$20,000

Congratulations to the McKinley Park project for receiving a $20,000 grant from the South Central Iowa Community Foundation. The group made a stop in the five counties it serves this past week and picked a project in each county to award $20,000 in honor of the group’s 20th anniversary.

Fourth

Both Creston and Osceola have big Fourth of July celebrations planned next week.

Afton has its pre-Fourth celebration starting this weekend.

I have a big list of Nebraska relatives coming for all the festivities. They seem to enjoy walking in the parade and taking in all the fun things that go on over the Fourth.

It looks like we should be in for some nice weather instead of the usual “hot stuff” we seem to get on the Fourth.

Corn

With the cool, wet spring, the local sweet corn is kind of running behind schedule this year. It doesn’t look like we will have any wonderful local corn for the Fourth at this rate. Of course, it will be nice when I’m still eating it around September.

Bike Night

This Friday is Bike Night here in Creston. The annual event includes a street closing on Elm Street with a band and plenty of good food and refreshments. I know a lot of the other local communities have had good turnouts for their Bike Nights this year. It is always fun to see all the different kinds of motorcycles.

Parade

The annual Parade of Homes is also this weekend in Creston. There seems to be a good selection of homes this year with homes starting at $95,000 and going up from there.

Check out the CNA for a section with directions to see the homes.

The local housing market is doing well and here is a chance to pick up some new ideas for your home.

Concerts

It has been a week of concert-going at my household.

I took in the Party in the Park Saturday. All four groups did a wonderful job of playing and singing. It was a great lineup of talent from top to bottom.

I also made the Jackson Browne concert in Des Moines. He did a great job and sounded like the Jackson Browne of old.

Last night, I made the Fleetwood Mac concert. Wells Fargo was full almost to the brim. The band is as good as ever. I’m still amazed at how good the band is after all these years of playing together. For a group of 60-somethings they played with the energy of 20 year olds!

Thought for the week: It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. — Luscious Ammateus Senecca (1st century A.D.)

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