Here in the Midwest, when others need a hand, we pitch in.
In the last few months, as a global pandemic has raged, we’ve seen so many selfless acts of kindness and remarkable moments of innovation. Midwesterners are rising up to support one another and to keep shops open, restaurants afloat and dreams of smallbusiness owners alive. Front-line workers are risking their health and safety every day as they answer calls to assist in their communities. Everyone at Midwest Living has been moved by such an outpouring of generosity. So in our Life section, we’ve expanded our Good Neighbors feature (page 16) to celebrate just a few of our favorite stories. If you enjoy good news (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t these days?), follow #mwlgoodneighbors on social for regular hits of positivity in your feed. Here in Des Moines, Midwest Living’s hometown, I am proud to serve as a board member for several organizations that have stepped up to meet these times. For example, as COVID-19 prompted postponements and cancellations of popular festivals, Winefest Des Moines pivoted from event planning to finding new ways to engage people with the city’s dining scene. We took our efforts online, inviting guests to pick up bottles and specially curated menu items from local restaurants for an evening of virtual wine flights, plus remote vineyard tours and discussions with winemakers. The result: an infusion of over $75,000 in direct sales for restaurants in Des Moines and an incredibly fun night that reminded us, however obliquely, of normalcy. Everyone is talking about the new normal, whatever that ends up meaning. Time will tell. For now, I am writing my second letter from my work-from-home post with my kids, our new Frenchie (Margot, such a snugglebug!), and my husband, Nick, who has honed his skills as our household’s primary chef with each passing meal. Our family, like yours, is learning to balance the grief and uncertainty that currently shades our lives with dreams of the great times that most certainly lie ahead. We look forward to the day when sports resume, when we can safely gather with friends and when we can hit the road to one of the Midwest’s many lakeside retreats. A summer here just isn’t complete without a visit to the region’s refreshing waters, which we’re celebrating in a Midwest Living first: The Water Issue. We’ve been hard at work for the past year dreaming up this magazine for you. I hope you find in its pages a virtual sense of water’s restorative properties and some ideas for welcoming renewal into your lives and homes. As we embark on the first phases of reopening, the magic of traveling around our region again hangs tantalizingly close. For now, relax and enjoy.