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I’m made in Iowa City - a place to grow : )

Aug 02, 2023

I‘m made in America : ) actually made in Iowa City. My mother told my father in 1975 after they got married that she wanted to go to Iowa city sometime because her beloved Swiss Godfather was living there. My father had the biggest grin on his face when he answered: „Well, that is perfect, because I want to work there in the Hydrologic Research lab.“ Off they went on their American adventures. My mother, a former primary school teacher, continued her music studies with her flute and my daddy went all in at the lab.

My mama got pregnant with meee and didn‘t want to give birth abroad so after one year they went home to Switzerland. Another reason to not stay in the US: The house I grew up in. It was rotten and a never ending construction site buuut if you follow me on instagram @joyismycompass you know how beautiful it is now…

My parents' love for Iowa City didn‘t fade. We went back many times. In total we’ve spent about a year there as a family: 6 months, 4 months, a few weeks. I went to kindergarten there and remember how I spoke fluent English with the thick American accent.

One of my BEST memories of our Iowa times is such a tiny moment in time. It was super hot, like the 111F /44C kind of hot. My mama, my sister and I were walking through the city and there was this red fountain on a stair like construction where the water splurged down on. We asked our mama if we could go up there and stand underneath the shower-like top and she said yes.

Our mother always said yes if she didn‘t see any reason to consider a no. My sister and I for sure lucked out on this freedom. Our ideas never got crushed instead encouraged and supported.

I remember the pure BLISS standing underneath that fountain „shower“ with all my clothes (some fuchsia pink light summer trousers and a white t-shirt with a print). Splashing around, walking up and down that stair with the water flowing down…

See my drawing. Now you know exactly how it looked, right? : )
I also remember that I was very impressed how fast our clothes dried afterwards.

Do you have a childhood memory like this? One little moment, an afternoon which makes you smile and fills your heart with joy?

If not or anyway, let‘s create more of these memories now. What beautiful (little) thing could you do today to create a memorable moment? Walking barefoot in a creek? Baking the cake your grandmother always made? Building a blanket-fort in your living room (with or without kids involved)?

If you want to be an easy joy-moment creator you can use the joy-cards for that. Write your own notes or print some templates I prepared for you.

One little message can make the day of another person! Choose the template you like best!

Will you share a pic of the place you’ve put the joy-card? That would be sooo cool! Or tag me on your instagram story with @joyismycompass and I’ll reshare. Let’s create the Joy Ripple Effect JRE together!

And let’s make this world more colorful, playful and joyful.

Lots of loooove from Switzerland,


PS: Did you wonder who the elderly lady is in the pic in the header? I’ll tell you about her in another scrapbook-mail. Her name was Margaretha and she was like a third Grandma to us. There are many, MANY cool stories to tell about and from Margaretha.


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This is a story from my weekly Joy-Letter that goes out every Sunday. Do you want to be the first to hear my personal scrapbook stories? Then sign up below.

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