Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What does hometown mean?

I spent a few days in Hot Springs Arkansas for a meeting last week. Shawna came with me and we made a road trip out of it, staying an extra night at a lake house with Peggy. It's surprisingly close, only a 4 hour drive to mountains and the wonderful Hot Springs. Both Hope and Hot Springs claim Bill Clinton as their native son, he was born in Hope and grew up in Hot Springs. That gets me to reflecting on the idea of "home town" and what that means. The word hometown conjures Rockwell like images in my mind of walking down main street saying hello to everyone you know, 4th of July picnics and parades, and knowing the people you graduate with since first grade. I doubt most people have that experience any more though, and I never did have it. I have a couple of places I consider home towns. The first and earliest home town for me is Shell Wyoming, even though I've only spent a total of a few years there over the course of a lifetime of summers. Then comes Aberdeen Scotland, where I really gained my independence and got to know the city, riding all over on the buses, and made lifelong friends. Then comes Lafayette, LA, my college home town. Lafayette represents another phase of independence, it's where I learned to drive, went to college and got married (first time). And now Dallas, it's my home town now! I love my neighborhood (see Oak Cliff blog!), and this is where I've become a mom, bought a house and started my working life. For a while I really wanted to move away, but I'm glad we've stayed. It's given the girls the opportunity to really feel at home, establish a stable network of friends and really feel like they belong somewhere. I feel like eventually we'll move away from Dallas, but it will always be a special home base for us.