Thank You, Mary Allison!

I received a really nice email from Sarah Connors, who serves as the director of operations for this newspaper. She was relaying a message from Mary Allison who had called the newspaper office to share some kind words about this column. That made my day! Mary, if you’re reading this, I hope you know how much I truly appreciate the fact that you took the time to reach out, and, of course, for reading this each week!

I left Mary a voicemail stating that each week, it can be challenging thinking of how I’ll fill 500 words. As I get older, I’ve started to lose track of the various topics I’ve covered. I’m sure at this point I have repeated myself on more than one occasion. I’m not perfect, nor have I ever claimed to be. Like all of you, I have my flaws, and I’m working on them everyday.

Aging has also reaffirmed to me the need for gratitude. When was the last time you let someone know how much they mean to you? Yes, we’re in a pandemic, and I hope that you’re practicing social distancing, but this could still be achieved via a letter, phone call, text message, email, or social media message.

Let me take this time to express my gratitude to a few people in my life, starting with the woman who literally brought me into this world, my mom Sheila. Many of you may know her as Miss Sheila from her work at Bridge to Beginnings Childcare Center here in Muscatine. She is a strong, intelligent, and hard working woman, and I am so honored and thankful to be her son.

My wife, Kasey, is a rockstar. She works full-time with her brother, Nolan, and is an incredible mother to our three children. Kasey is also my best friend, and our relationship has only continued to grow over the nearly 12 years we’ve been together.

Judy Yates is the director of the MCSA Domestic Violence Shelter here in Muscatine. Did you know that she has worked there for over 20 years?! Judy and her team are committed to improving the lives of women and their children who flee domestic violence. Please support their efforts and help keep the shelter open (donate online at

Last, but certainly not least, would be Angie Johnson, Christy Roby-Williams, and each and every single healthcare worker in Muscatine County. While I cannot even try to comprehend what you’ve endured since March of 2020, I can say a heartfelt thank you. All of you are heroes in my mind, and I am so thankful to live in a community that has so many talented people providing health services.

Let me also thank my dentist, Dr. Clove, so he’s not jealous. Oh, and my chiropractor, Dr. Jeff Hanssen.

It feels good to express gratitude. I hope you’ll consider doing the same. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your life each week within the confines of this column. Stay safe and healthy.