Answering personal questions from nosy Iowans. Hmm. I'm going to have to get used to it. Or, if not precisely used to it, develop a strategy on how to cope. Because you gotta know, it's coming.
"So, arya still acting?" "How longya gonna be here?" "Whenja get back?" etc. But now when people discover that I've abandoned Seattle, they're going to be doubly curious. "What broughtcha back?" "Whatcha gonna do now?" "Whatcha gonna be do'in in Decorah?" or the really nosy who don't care if they're being impolite and don't really care if anybody else (including me) knows it--"Gotta job?"
Some of this can be deflected with humor: "I left Seattle because I got tired of all the traffic and all the liberals." "Too expensive, too many people--especially, too many liberals." etc.
This will immediately cause a republican to laugh, and also I would think an Iowa democrat, most of whom run a moderate stripe--the only ones I have to watch out for is the hippie-commie-peaceniks up at Luther, whose blue is the color of the deepest ocean trenches.
As far as the job goes, if I leave it deliberately vague, it only invites further prying. Thus I must always couch it in terms Iowans understand: Family. "I wanted to be closer to family"--which has the double advantage of being the truth, and something they can understand. If they probe, I can always say, "well you know Dad has a lot to cope with, with Norma in that wheelchair..." [arched eyebrow]. This redirects the question to perhaps a prejudice that the interogator already possesses--that of Dad caring for his invalid wife and what a pity that is--and wouldn't things be different if Betty were still around...
"I'm going to be doing some things for the firm over the internet from home," also has a mysterious ring to it and could invite a peppering of questions, but ones that I don't necessarily mind answering.
The response I would truly love to give? "I've got a book contract and I'll be working on revising and editing my manuscript for publication." Between now and next spring, I hereby promise to commit to trying to make this response a truthful one, one that I can use with pride. :)