Friday, September 16, 2011

My Hometown

During a recent conversation with my dad, the subject of hometowns came up.

My dad was born in Virginia, Minnesota, a small town in Northern MN. He spent his childhood there, and graduated from high school there. And while the average winter temperature there might be -20 degrees, he still considers it his hometown, and he probably always will. With reason.

I do not feel the same way about where I was born. I was born in Decatur, Illinois, a medium-sized city in Central IL. I do not, however, consider it my home town.

We left that city a day after my first birthday. I have literally zero memory of the place. And on a recent trip back there, I was just as lost as I would have been if I'd been plunked down in the middle of Prague.

We lived in three other places before settling here in the Toledo area. And since moving here, I've put down roots and will probably end up spending the rest of my life here.

I have lived either in the Toledo area or in the city itself for more than 3 times longer than all the other places I have lived in combined. Most of my friends and acquaintances live around here. The members of my immediate family either live here or are within less than 2 hours drive from here. I got most of my primary education here, and finished my college education at a local university.

Toledo IS my home town. It may not be where I was born, but it will most likely be where I die someday.

In my opinion, a person's home town does not automatically have to be where they were born. A person's home town is where they feel most at, well, home.

I feel at home here in Toledo. I'm proud to live and work here. That, more than anything else, makes it my home town.

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