Ok, I suck at blogging. I just do. If I could manage to transfer all the things I write in a notebook to this blog then I might have something to post like once a week. But that never works out for me. I always have plans of things to write about and that never works out for me either. I always think summer would be a good time to try and write some posts...but then ya know...it's summer and who wants to do anything at all?? But you know me...I just don't know when to call it quits. So here we go again.
I have a plan for the summer. A plan of something to write about. Something important to me. My hometown. I have been visiting quite a few people this past year. And quite a few people have come to visit me. During those visits it never fails that someone comments about my hometown. Usually it is along the lines of "I don't even know how you can live there. Aren't you miserable? You should just move." So I am on a mission to make those city dwelling friends of mine love my tiny town. (Ok, maybe not love it, but at least recognize why I love it.) If you are reading this and you already love my town then that's great! Maybe you can agree with some of the things I think. I plan to break it up and write a little each week this summer. Maybe I will be able to keep writing even after summer is over! (But you know how those plans usually go...)
So...Hometown Love Week 1
I love my hometown--which is Paris, MO for those of you who don't know (be warned if you're a stalker though...I am not at all interesting)--because it is just that:: HOME! Doesn't everyone have fond memories of the first place they thought of as home? This is mine. My history is here. Everywhere I go there is a memory or a story. There is something that enables me to feel. The field where my first serious boyfriend and I used to look at stars and dream. The barn where we broke up and new dreams were born. The building that was my Jr. High where I spent the awkward teen years. The church steps I sat on with my friends listening to music. The driveway where I took skateboarding lessons. (I know...I'm a dork.) The library where my sweet momma would take me to "shop" for books when I was little. Everyone has a place full of those things and this is mine.
I love knowing someone everywhere I go. When I was a teenager it meant if I was acting up in town my mom knew about it before I even got home. Now it means there are people scattered all over my daily life who know what's going on with me. They care and are invested in my life. When I am preparing for a 5K they are asking me how it is going while I am checking out at the grocery store. When I have succeeded (or failed) at something they are encouraging me and cheering me on while I am shopping for curtains at the Dollar General. These are my people and they know my life. "But isn't it annoying to have people in your business all the time?" Yes. But fortunately for me that has not been an issue because as previously mentioned I am pretty boring. Here is a way that has worked out to my benefit though. In December when my dad had a stroke a few meaningful things happened that would not have happened in a city. First, as my sister was trying to call me in the middle of the night and I didn't answer she called a friend and was prepared to send them to my house to knock on my door/window/whatever they needed to do to wake me up. I ended up calling her back before that happened...but it was an option. Second, I knew that the first responders and EMT/paramedics responding to that call were people who knew and loved my family. One of them later told me that as soon as he heard my dad's name he just drove as fast as he could toward my house wondering the whole time if anyone had gotten ahold of me yet. Third, people checked on me. They checked on my dad too, but they checked on me. One of my mom's friends put gas in my car one day because the hospital was an hour away and he knew that a two hour round trip several times a week was expensive. He didn't ask...he just did it. One of my neighbors took care of my pets. My coworkers offered to drive me to the hospital and invited me to their family gatherings since it was Christmas time. People cared. And it was amazing. It made me feel lucky to be a part of this community.
Does this kind of community caring happen in the city? I am sure it does. If you are one of the people who is lucky enough to be plugged into a community within your city. But for some it doesn't. One of my best friends lives in a large city and doesn't know her neighbors yet after a little over two years. My community is here. And I love it.
So that's reason one. Probably nothing new and nothing spectacular. I love my hometown because it is my home. It is where I found a community to be a part of.
Next week I hope to write about one of the many great places in my town. Stay tuned.