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Monday, March 18, 2013

Where I Come From

To explain where I'm from, I think I'll leave it up to John Mellencamp (who's from Seymour, Indiana by the way - thanks, Google!):
Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town...

No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be

Those words really hit home for me. Literally. I'm from a really small town - a township actually. I'm not even sure it has an official population. I'm from the cornfields and sunsets of Western Illinois, and not too far from Mississippi River on the border of Illinois and Iowa. This is the house where I grew up:

(Image courtesy of Google Maps)
I lived here the first 22 years of my life, and my parents still live here today. It's nice to "come home" every time I go there to visit.

I have too many memories to count from here. My sister and I used to ride our bikes around in circles in the driveway because we weren't allowed to go into the road until we were older.

Here's us in the backyard at the picnic table. Weren't we cute?

Sometimes I miss little things like the sunsets I used to see out my bedroom window....

And the leaves on the gingko tree in the backyard....

Another house that has a lot of meaning for me is my grandparents' house. My dad is a farmer. He's farmed his whole life. He grew up in this house...
(Image courtesy of Google Maps)
It's where he still farms today. It's only about a mile and a half down the road from my parents' house, and when my sister and I were younger, we went here with my dad everyday in the summer when we were on our summer break from school. My dad and grandpa would do their farming during the day while my grandma watched us. She would watch "her stories" - usually All My Children - while Haley and I would find ways to entertain ourselves by drawing, riding bikes, playing with Barbies, coloring, using our imagination, or just talking with my grandma. We would watch The Price is Right and talk shows with her. Sometimes we would all cook or make crafts together. This house is home to many memories for us.

Every once in a while my dad would give us all rides through the corn field in the golf cart. Here's me and my dad at my grandma's on the cart when I was just a little kid:

I loved growing up in the country and wouldn't change a thing. Now I live in another small town about 45 minutes away from where I grew up. I didn't move too far, as you can see. :)

It's a little bigger than the town I'm from. We had a fire station, a bank, a church, a post office/feed store, a town hall, and a meat locker. That's it.

Now I live in a town of around 800 people, and a lot more houses than I'm used to living on my little street on the county line. Not only is there multiple churches, there's gas stations and a Subway restaurant, a couple of bars...there even used to be a grocery store. Not anymore though. :)

I still have views of country roads and corn fields on my way to work in the morning. In the summer in Illinois, little purple wildflowers spring up alongside of the road and it looks so pretty on a sunny day.


It makes me really glad that I still live in the country and get to see all of the beauty that surrounds us everyday.

 

Even though I like visiting big cities and always say I want to move closer to the city, I never want to leave the feel of a small town that I've had my whole life. I really wouldn't trade my life in small town Illinois for anything.

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