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The better-late-than-ever Heartland blog: Cow kisses and a moment of zen

The better-late-than-ever Heartland blog: Cow kisses and a moment of zen

I’m having one of those weeks where I feel like I started in last place and just can’t catch up.  And that was before SCOTUS sent us back 50 years in time. 

I was out of the office last week attending VGM’s Heartland Conference, an event I enjoy and usually enjoy blogging about from the actual heartland.

Got behind on that, too.

But, while it’s tempting to just move forward, I didn’t want to forge ahead without sharing a few quick highlights of this year’s trip.

Hog wild

This year’s Hog Roast featured a cow, available for petting, selfies and, if you are my coworker, Jo Ellen Reed, cow kisses.

I posted a photo to our team Slack channel and one coworker summed the photo thusly: “Jo Ellen Reed in heaven, Theresa Flaherty gamely tolerating.”

That pretty much sums up the yin and yang of the Jo and Theresa travel team. It works.

Extreme carpooling

This year’s event drew about 200 first time attendees, which I believe is a record. I met a few of these providers at breakfast one morning and then followed up with one as we were getting ready to head out Wednesday afternoon.

Mary Ruth Watt, owner of Homefront Air & Medical Supplies in Fayetteville, Ark., and a VGM Insurance customer for 28 years, and presumably an HME provider for at least as long, hopped a ride with a fellow provider from Fayetteville. The kicker?

While she has known of this fellow provider all these years – I believe she said his location is just down the block from hers – she’d never actually met the man until about 2.5 weeks prior to the event, when he suggested they drive up together.

Talk about Heartland bringing people together!

Fish food for thought

As I mentioned after my most recent work trip to Phoenix, I’m a big believer in building in a little down time wherever I am. In Waterloo, that means a visit to the koi pond behind the casino I was staying at. While other guests get a thrill from pumping cash into the slot machines, I find that, for a fistful of quarters, you can bribe these fish to the surface for a few moments of zen.


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