"So, where are you from?" Such a simple question and one that is among most people's list of "small talk" starters. I've always struggled with this one because we moved so much while I was growing up. I was born in LaFayette, Indiana but moved to LaPorte, Indiana before the age of one. My family stayed there until I was 7, although I'll be honest, I don't have too many vivid memories from those early years and have never really considered myself a Hoosier. Next stop was Watertown, Wisconsin. Cute little town with a large German population. We stayed for about a year or so then moved on to Camanche, Iowa...not one of my favorite pit-stops along this journey. Luckily we only stayed there for a year then moved back to LaPorte, Indiana for a few months. The next move would be a good one...Mentor, Ohio. We moved the summer before my 6th grade year and we stayed all the way through my graduation, moving within days of commencement. My family moved to an adorable town called Hershey, Pennsylvania for a short period of time then on to Naperville, Illinios but for me these were only places to come home to on school breaks since I went on to Ohio University...Ohio remained my "home."
Awwww, OU! Now that was four amazing years! A recent article in the Plain Dealer really got me thinking about my time in Athens. My older sister attended OU and during a "Little Sibs" weekend I fell in love with all the cute shops & restaurants on Court Street and, let's be honest, the very active night-life. Keeping the tradition going, both of my younger brothers would also become Bobcats. There really isn't any place quite like OU. The campus is gorgeous and it really feels like you are in a world of your own since the school is nestled in the Appalachian hills of Ohio. My time at OU created some of my happiest memories and I've loved every chance I've gotten to go back and visit.
I graduated and got married and followed my husband to Illinois for 3 years but I was always eager to return back to Ohio...and we did. I guess I never really realized just how much I love Ohio until recently, when my sister moved back from Chicago. I found myself saying: "I'm so glad you've moved back home," and it hit me...THIS is where I'm "from." There are many gorgeous places in the world and I hope to have the opportunity to travel someday and experience all that they have to offer, but moving around as a child made me long for a place where I could put down roots - and that's what I'm doing.
So, I think the next time someone asks me where I'm from I'll simply say: "I was born in Indiana but Ohio has always been my home.
P.S. Hey Sibs - I think it's time for another trip to good old OU. Court Street is calling!