**I am excited to share with you a piece written by one of my students, Lauren Redding. The assignment was to write about how place affects our identity. As we are all stuck at home, I thought it more than fitting to share this now, even though she wrote it several weeks ago. I hope you are blessed by reading this. I know I was! Lauren has a strong voice and is so candid in her writing. I love grading her essays! -Rebecca
I gently punch in the code to the garage door and patiently stand there and wait for there to be enough room for me to quickly creep under the door and run to the warmth of my house. I let out a sigh of relief. Finally, I'm home.
I live in a town where Friday nights at the only high school we have is the highlight of everyone’s week. In my town, you take a drive down the winding back roads passing several churches just to reach a “famous” abandoned bridge. On this bridge you write out your name with the $3 can of spray paint you bought a few hours before. In the town I live in, many people often mutter the words out of anger and boredom, “I can’t wait to get out of this town.”
What about the people who never want to leave? I know I am for sure one of them. In my short sixteen years of living, I have been raised in Lawrenceburg, KY. I have moved for short times, but have always made it back to my hometown of what many call, “The Burg”. Some may say driving around with your friends or going to Walmart isn’t fun, but it’s something I haven’t seemed to get tired of.
It’s mid summer and I’ve been counting down the days till we made our way to the beach. My dad drives me to my friend Emily’s house, and I’m ready to leave for summer vacation. My dad and I pull into her driveway, and I prepare to tell him goodbye. I do not know then that this is the last time I will speak to my dad in the little town of Lawrenceburg, and the last time I will look forward to going to the beach.
The next day, after 10 hours stuffed in a small Toyota Corolla, Emily's family and I finally make it to the beach. Although I am so excited to put my feet in the water, I know my dad back home is missing me and I miss him, too. Only a few days at the beach pass by, and I am told the next time I will speak to my dad will be somewhere unearthly.
Experiences that happen in a specific place can influence how we may think and how we feel. Because I was in North Carolina when my father passed away, I often don’t enjoy going to the beach or anywhere far away because I'm afraid of what may happen at home. As a 16 year old girl, I'm aware I may not be able to stop instances like that, but staying home gives me a sense of comfort. Not only has the feeling of warmth and family kept me loving my hometown, but so have the memories.
In Maggie Smith’s poem, “Homebody”, she explains her love for staying put. “Thirty years apart we were buzzed through the same ward doors and we emptied ourselves there”, In this quote from the poem, Smith explains that her mother, herself, and her children were all born in the same hospital, in the same town. Similar to the type of fun that goes on in my hometown, the author also explains how “Driving around my hometown is a game”. Being a homebody, I know that not all happiness is within the warmth of my home. I know that going on a random trip will dampen my smile. I may become worrisome at times, but I know that I will make my way back home to the place where I have become who I am.
Welcome to my Blog! I am a wife, mother of three, high school English teacher, and a graduate of the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. Before anything else, I am a woman of faith.