I cannot forget from where it is that I come from.

Sara has a great post about our hometown, about the realizations that you don’t make until you’re far, far removed.

Yes. There are only two-story buildings. This never occurred to me.

And it is mostly blue collar. Again, this didn’t occur to me, either. It was a given that I was going to college. But it was also a given and a non-issue that many of my classmates would go right to the farm or the foundry. No fuss about it – that’s just the deal.

On the country radio station in town, they read obituaries at 6 a.m. and noon. Trust me: when your clock radio goes off to a dark, cold Iowa winter morning and the first thing you hear is an obituary, it’s hard to get out of bed.

I could walk downtown. And the air has never smelled as sweet as those first warm spring days when the teachers make recess extra long. I’ve never seen a sky as clear as the view from my parents’ backyard.

But, like Sara, I knew I wouldn’t stay there. I make fun of my hometown, but will come to blows with an outsider who dares to do the same. And I doubt that I’ll ever move back.

Maybe we left because somewhere along the way, we were lured by the ideas of More and Different.

Our families traveled. Like visiting? What would it be like to live there?

We read a lot of books. For a while, I fantasized about living in a boxcar, thanks to The Boxcar Children. I was in second grade and couldn’t fathom anything more glamorous.

And, we imagined. Which is a nice way to say we were suckered into small town Iowa community theatre. And we both wore body makeup in fifth grade to portray Siamese princesses in The King & I.

And because I have no shame, and because I’m feeling charitable, here’s some photographic proof.

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